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Piazza di San Luigi de' Francesi, Rome, 00186, Italy | +39 06 688271

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Great value, Free, Popular with locals, Family-friendly

The official French church in Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi was built in 1518 for the French community and named after King Louis IX. To this day, masses are held daily in French. The Italian marble façade and interior with touches of gold were constructed with funds from Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France—and that's just the start. Every area of the church is decorated lavishly with rich marbles, paintings, sculptures, and gilding, but the pride of San Luigi dei Francesi is the Contarelli chapel where Caravaggio's Saint Matthew cycle (three paintings depicting the life of the saint) are found. Though the clergy condemned the pieces at the time as blasphemous and too realistic, today they are considered some of his best work.

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Chiesa di San Luigi dei Francesi

The official French church in Rome, San Luigi dei Francesi was built in 1518 for the French community and named after King Louis IX. To this day, masses are held daily in French. The Italian marble façade and interior with touches of gold were constructed with funds from Catherine de Medici, who was married to King Henry II of France—and that's just the start. Every area of the church is decorated lavishly with rich marbles, paintings, sculptures, and gilding, but the pride of San Luigi dei Francesi is the Contarelli chapel where Caravaggio's Saint Matthew cycle (three paintings depicting the life of the saint) are found. Though the clergy condemned the pieces at the time as blasphemous and too realistic, today they are considered some of his best work.