Piazza Navona - Filip Šubrt Photo

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment."

Ansel Adams .


Rome Photos

Piazza Navona

Navona Square, the most beautiful baroque square in Rome, sits on the ancient ring of the Stadium of Domitian – also known as Circus Agonalis – built in 85 AD.

In the 16th century, the square was enriched with the fountains donated by Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni, then Pope Innocent X ordered the construction of the majestic Pamphili Palace (today Brazilian embassy) on the land owned by his family. The Palace was built by Girolamo Rainaldi and embellished by marvellous frescos, a Gallery by Borromini and several art works.

The Square was meant to celebrate the prestige of the Pamphili family, within a sort of competition with the Barberini and Farnese families, so Innocent X ordered the construction of the palace and the decoration of the square with very valuable works. Some pre-existing buildings were pulled down and the main architects of the time fought very hard to get the job.

A very significant role in the selection of the artists was played by the powerful Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, who decided to give the job to Bernini, who had impressed her with a silver model of his fountain. During the second half of the 17th century, Innocent X ordered the construction of a fountain in the middle of the square, giving the job to Borromini at first. Then, the job was given to Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who enthralled the Pope with a silver model of his fountain.

In the centre of the square can be found the largest of three fountains in the Piazza Navona, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or Fountain of the Four Rivers. Constructed between 1647 and 1651, the design was first commissioned to Borromini, but was later taken over by Bernini. The fountain consists of four figures, representing the rivers, Nile, Ganges, Danube and Rio della Plata.

The Fontana Del Moro, or Moor Fountain, is located at the southern end of the Piazza Navona, and takes its name from the group of figures representing an Ethiopian fighting with a dolphin.

Fontana del Nettuno or Fountain of Neptune, is located at the northern end of the Piazza Navona. This fountain was commissioned to Giacomo della Porta in 1574, and as with the Fontana del Moro on the southern end, the material used was Portasanta, which is a rose marble.