Saint Andrew at the Quirinal (Italian: Sant’Andrea al Quirinale) is a church on the Quirinal Hill in the Monti district of Rome. It is located across the road from the Palazzo del Quirinale, seat of the Italian President. Its architect Bernini used strong and dynamic curves for the oval interior of the church.
Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via del Quirinale, 30 – Rome (tel. +39 06 4874565), Opening hours: 09.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 18.00. Note that it is forbidden to visit the church during mass. Admission: Free.
History and description
Before this version of Saint Andrew’s was built, a 16th century church stood called Sant’Andrea a Montecavallo stood in this exact spot.
The present Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini together with Domenico de Rossi and belongs to Rome’s Jesuit Seminary. Bernini himself considered the church to be his masterpiece and it is generally considered to be a highlight of the Roman baroque architectural style.
Construction of the church took 20 years, from 1658 until 1678.
It is oval in shape and the head altar can be found along the shorter axis of the ellipse.
The portal is also elliptic and is decorated with the coat of arms of Cardinal Camillo Pamphili, who was a cousin of the then Pope Innocent X and had financed construction of the church.
The two side apses do not contain chapels. Only the supporting pillars are visible, which causes the visitor’ attention to be directly focused towards the main altar. The source of light illuminating the altar piece itself is hidden, a technique Bernini also used in his more famous Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria.
The two wings of the churchyard were partly destroyed when the street was widened and are now further back compared to the steps leading up to the church entrance, which diminishes the intended effect.
The King of Sardegna Charles Emanuel IV, who had renounced his throne in order to become a Jesuit, is buried in the church.
Highlights Sant’Andrea al Quirinale Church Rome
The altar piece is made by Guillaume Courtois.
In the first chapel on the right, the Kapel van Sint Franciscus Xavierius, three paintings by Baciccio can be seen. The ceiling was painted by Filippo Bracci.
The Chapel of the Passion is also called Chapel of the Flagellation and contains 3 paintings by Giacinto Brandi that have the Passion of Jesus Christ as their subject.
To the left of the main altar the Chapel of Saint Stanislaus Kostka can be seen. The painting above the sepulchral monument is made by Carlo Maratta and the ceiling fresco is the work of Giovanni Odazzi.
The first chapel on the left is dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, with a painting by Ludovico Mazzant and a ceiling fresco by Giuseppe Chiari.
The statue of Saint Stanislao Kostka in the rooms annexed to the church was sculpted by Pierre Legros. Saint Kostka himself is also buried in the church.