arc7 - Baroque Architecture and Urbanism Francesco...

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Baroque Architecture and Urbanism Francesco Cappellari UF 2009 Counter-Reformation (1545-63) To counteract the reformation movement and the later schism of which Martin Luther was a pivotal figure, the Catholic Church belatedly initiated the Council of Trent whose two main goals were to: 1. Reform the church from within 2.Persuade those that had left the church of Rome, to return The success of these goals was entrusted to a great extent to the arts, and thus to architecture, as the most prestigious and correct media for spreading the teaching of the church at a time of massive desertion. The Sistine plan of Rome (1448-1590) Since the return of the popes from Avignon, in the late 1300s, it became apparent that Rome’s image had greatly deteriorated and was not fitting the role of center of Christendom. It may have been this, the reason for several popes to participate in the making of what is known as the Sistine plan of Rome named after Pope Sixtus V. It took six popes and almost 150 years for the plan to become a reality and, in accordance with the ideas expressed by Sixtus V it was carefully followed and ratified until 1870 when the domain of the popes over the city finally ended. The plan is characterized by several straight roads that originally connected seven Early Christian Basilicas facilitating the many pilgrims in their religious pursuit. The road system was also equipped with numerous water fountains at critical locations within the Sistine plan as well as obelisks used as directional elements and reinforcing the orientation through the city. Rome is the place of movement and the place for gathering not only inside or outside of the main churches but especially within its major civic squares or piazzas. Piazza del Popolo Gateway from the North and thus the most important entry to the city. The obelisk at its center lines up with the streets that compose the “trident” also reinforced by two very
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similar churches but also expresses the connection that in the 19 th Century Giuseppe Valadier expressed between the upper gardens located on the Pincio hill and the River Tiber on the opposite side of the piazza. Piazza di Spagna, Francesco de Sanctis (1723-26) Adapted from a design by Specchi, the Spanish Steps, after well over 100 years, finally joins two of the roads of the Sistine plan making the space one of the most spectacular “piazzas” in the world. Although the stairway appears to be symmetrical, it follows the topographical contours of the land. The obelisk on the top of the stairway greatly adds to the orientation of the pilgrims while the fountain below (by the father of Bernini) provides pilgrims (and animals) a means to quench their thirst. Piazza Navona Built over the grandstands of the Domitian
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arc7 - Baroque Architecture and Urbanism Francesco...

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