San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

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Francesco Borromini, 1599–1667

Rome, Italy; 1634–37

The Quirinal Hill, one of the seven hills inside the walls of ancient Rome, is now covered with a grid of streets in the city centre. A block away from the palace of the president of the modern Italian republic, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is almost lost on a long, very straight street that leads to Michelangelo’s Porta Pia, on the corner of a block.

The building combines several different elements in a small space. Tucked away at the back of the site there is (on five floors) the residential accommodation for a small monastic community, reached by way of narrow ...

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