Chiesa di Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri – The Roman Catholic parish church dedicated to Saint Anne in the Vatican City

The church placed under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of the Vatican City and is located beside the Porta Sant’Anna, an international border crossing between Vatican City State and Italy.

In 1565, Pope Pius IV authorized the Archconfraternity of the Pontifical Grooms to build a church dedicated to Saint Anne close to the Apostolic Palace.

Chiesa di Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri and the Porta Sant’Anna on the left / Image source

The construction began that same year on a design attributed to Renaissance architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. After Vignola’s death in 1573, the church was finished by his son Giacinto Barozzi. The church was completed in the eighteenth century, when the façade, the dome and the interior frescoes were made.

It was one of the first churches in Rome with an elliptical plan. Vignola introduced the oval plan to church design for the first time in the churches of Sant’Andrea in Via Flaminia and Saint Anne in the Vatican, pioneering a plan which was to become influential to Baroque architecture.

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