The small Baroque church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (St Charles at the Four Fountains), or San Carlino as it is better known, is the work of one of most original minds in the history of architecture, Francesco Borromini (1599-1667).
San Carlino was commissioned in 1634 by the Spanish Trinitarians, a religious order whose mission was to help free Christians captured and enslaved by Muslim pirates.
Faced with the challenge of working with a very limited space, Borromini's first task was to create the monastic buildings and the cloister. He then turned his attention to the church, creating one of the most extraordinary spaces in Rome.
The facade, with its alternating convex and concave surfaces, wasn't added until 1677, a decade after Borromini's death.
Blogging about Rome:
its art, history and culture.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
Search Walks in Rome: