Santa-Maria-della-Vittoria.png Santa-Maria-della-Vittoria.png

Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria (Santa Teresa d’Avila)

Work on the construction of the original building was started in 1495 on the site of a house belonging to Daniel Norsa, a Jewish banker.


The story goes that in 1493 the banker removed a sacred image from the façade of his house, which created great anger among the people of Rome, who hurled insults at the house and threw rocks at it during the procession on Ascension Day. The citizens also managed to ensure that the house was demolished because of the sacrilege, and a new sacred building was built, financed directly by the banker.


The church owes its title to the victory against the Bohemians at the 1621 Battle of White Mountain in Prague. The story goes that Father Dominic of Jesus and Mary, an army chaplain, intervened at a dangerous moment in the battle. He had a portrait of Mary adoring the baby Jesus with him, which unexpectedly lit up and blinded the enemy forces, causing them to flee. In 1622 the image was miraculously transferred to the current church.


Inside is the famous sculpture of the ecstasy of Saint Teresa of Avila by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The work captures a moment in the life of Saint Teresa of Avila in which, according to her biography, an angel pierced her heart with a golden arrow, leading to great joy but also profound pain.