Piazza del Popolo

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Piazza del Popolo viewed from the Pincio , towards St. Peter's Basilica (west)

The Piazza del Popolo ( People's Square after the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo ) is one of the most famous squares in Rome . It is located in the IV. Rione and has been the place where visitors entered Rome since ancient times when traveling into the city from the north via Via Flaminia or Via Cassia .

Origin of name

There are various traditions for explaining the name. The name of the square should remind us that it was built with the money of the Roman population. According to another tradition, the name is reminiscent of the poplars that used to stand here. According to a third theory, the word 'popolo' has nothing to do with today's word 'people', but is an older term for a parish.


The three main streets, Via del Corso , Via del Babuino and Via di Ripetta , whose street fans are known as Tridente (trident) , have been running from Piazza del Popolo since the 16th century .

  • The Via del Corso is the only road that an ancient road train - namely the Via Flaminia - follows. It ends in Piazza Venezia near the Capitol and the Roman Forum .
  • The Via di Ripetta has led to the former Ripetta port on the Tiber and on to the Vatican since 1518 .
  • In 1525, Via Paolina was laid out as the last of the three streets , which today as Via del Babuino leads to Piazza di Spagna and on to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore .


Piranesi: Piazza del Popolo (1748)

The current design in neoclassical style was created between 1811 and 1822 by the architect Giuseppe Valadier . In 1793 he had already submitted a first draft for the square, which had already been rebuilt several times under Pope Alexander VII . In this plan, a trapezoidal square was provided, the shorter side of which should be oriented towards the Via Flaminia. Garrison buildings were intended to delimit the long sides. Valadier followed the recommendations of the architectural theorist Francesco Milizias , who wanted to avoid monotony with a mixed-line layout. However, this design was completely ignored in the final design. Rather, Valadier designed two semicircles that are reminiscent of Bernini's design of St. Peter's Square .

In the middle of the piazza is the Obelisco Flaminio , the second oldest and with a height of 23.90 m (with base and cross 36.50 m) the second largest Egyptian obelisk in Rome . To the north is the gate, the Porta del Popolo , next to the gate is the church of Santa Maria del Popolo , in whose adjoining Augustinian monastery Martin Luther lived during his stay in Rome.

To the south are the famous twin churches, on the left Santa Maria in Montesanto , which Carlo Rainaldi built in the 17th century on behalf of Pope Alexander VII. The lantern of this church building comes from Bernini. To the right of the Corso was Santa Maria dei Miracoli , which Carlo Fontana was also involved in building. One of the difficulties for Rainaldi was that the two sites were unequal. The left space was much smaller than the right. He solved the problem by making the left dome elliptical and the right one round.

To the east rises the Pincio hill , a park, to the north of the hill of Villa Borghese . The fountain designed by Valadier represents the goddess Roma with the rivers Tiber and Aniene. On the opposite side of the square, Valadier designed a fountain with Neptune and two tritons . The lion fountain in the middle of the square was also designed by this architect.



Web links

Commons : Piazza del Popolo (Rome)  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Piazza del Popolo (Rome)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.romsehenswuerdheiten.com/piazza-del-popolo

Coordinates: 41 ° 54 ′ 39 "  N , 12 ° 28 ′ 35"  E