Saint Francis Saverio church “The Mission”


The Jesuit Church of Saint Francis Xavier, “La Missione”, was built between 1665 and 1678 by architect Giovenale Boetto. It is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier, but it is known as “La Missione” since, after the suppression of the Order in 1773, it was placed under the responsibility of the Missionary Fathers of St. Vincent de Paul. The sandstone façade of this impressive building features a high terrace overlooking the square below. This is reached by two lateral stairways of different lengths, which, apart from offering an interesting visual aspect, compensates for the sloping characteristics of the site. The inside consists of a single chamber with a semi-circular apse. The lay Jesuit Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), one of the most influential and gifted illusory perspective painters of the Baroque period, transformed the ceiling into a spectacular and vivid repertoire of geometrical and floral decorative elements and painted architecture. Andrea Pozzo’s extraordinary skills are perhaps best illustrated in The Glory of St. Francis Xavier painting which overlooks the fake, trompe-l’oeil central dome.

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