Piazza Navona & 4 rivers. Pen on paper.
Piazza Navona
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Stadium: 85dc
fountain of the four rivers: 1651
The shape of Piazza Navona is dictated by the presence of the Stadium of Diocletian, a racing circuit similar to the Circus Maximus built in the 1st century ad. Like much of Rome's streets and buildings which still mark out the ghosts of the Imperial city.
In 1651 Pope Innocent X Pamphili held a competition to decorate the piazza which was practically considered the front porch of his family home, Palazzo Pamphili. The competition was won by Borromini, until Bernini appeared at the residence of Donna Olimpia, sister-in-law of the Pope, with a gift; a silver model of his proposal for the central fountain of the Piazza. Bernini’s design was chosen. It is a glorification of the universal power of the church, with colossal figures representing the four rivers of the four know continents of the world. The four continents are surmounted at the centre by the Papal crest, symbolizing the domination of the church over them all. The fountain is topped by an egyptian obelisk, which was considered a symbol of supreme knowledge, a knowledge which could only be provided by the church.