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:: SILVER HOTELS COLLECTION · MONUMENTS · PIAZZA NAVONA ::
Today this Piazza gathers tourists from all over the world who come to participate in modern day festivities of artists and open air cafe's mixed with old time culture where once in Medieval times, jugglers and commedians performed while the rich threw coins to show appreciation. Today it's open air Christmas Market still takes place and is visited by not only tourists but Romans too.
It's original roots, however, take us back to antique Rome when this Piazza was commissioned by the family of Pope Innocent X in 1652, when the piazza and its church were built in monumental style. Not long after the the project was initiated it was taken over by Francesco Borromini who is also responsible for the completion of the dome and building of the twin belltowers as well as the concave facade also being his design.
In the centre of the piazza is Bernini's most spectacular fountain, la Fontana dei Fiumi or The fountain of Rivers. Erected in 1651, this fountain features a central rocky structure that supports an obelisk, an ancient Roman imitation of the Egyptian form.
Around the fountain are four giant statues by Bernini's pupils following his designs representing the Nile, the Danube, the Ganges, and the Rio della Plata, each one representing one of the four quarters of the world. The statues have astonishing lifelike positions and movement. It is thought that one of the statues in Bernini's fontana dei fiumi is covering his face so as not to look at the church. This was thought to be the case because of an intense rivalry between the two artists. However, the dates of the construction of each shows that the fountain was built first.