Present shape of Piazza Navona is dictated by oval of ancient Stadium of Domitian, fragments of its structure are still visible in the northern frontage of Piazza Navona.
On the request of Pope Innocent X’s there took a place a vast reconstruction of the complex, in according to main Baroque principle.
In the same place where ancient rivals entered an athletics competition we can admire the results of fierce, but fruitful rivalry between two magnificent representatives of High Roman Baroque –Gian Lorenzo Bernini end Francesco Boromini.
The serpentine façade of the church, which walls seam to wave in and out, corresponds perfectly with dynamic embodiments of four rivers, which spiral around the central axis. Figures composing Fountain of Four Rivers, placed in the focal point of Piazza Navona, refer to pose, called in late barocque, ‘serpentine figure’, which lower and upper limbs face in opposite directions The development of this form of art took place after discovery of Laocoon Group. Berninis fountain provides us graceful example of this artistic fenomen.
Boromini designing prominent, sinuous cornices of Saint Agnes in Agony, placed emphasis on sharpen light and shadow contrast, what corresponds with spirit of the epoch. Entering the church, visitor will be again surprised by amazing scenes depicting episodes derived from st Agnes life, sculptured in deep, dynamic relief by Winckelmann