Sant’Eustachio is a Roman Catholic titular church and minor basilica in Rome, named for the martyr Saint Eustace. It is located on Via di Sant’Eustachio in the rione Sant’Eustachio, a block west of the Pantheon and via della Rotonda, and a block east of Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza and the Via della Dogana Vecchia.
Between the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, this neighborhood runs through Rome’s historic center to the Largo di Torre Argentina archaeological site. Its central location draws visitors to its high-end hotels and side streets lined with rustic trattorias, while casual bars and cafes attract workday crowds. The Church of San Luigi dei Francesi houses 3 Caravaggio masterworks, including “The Calling of Saint Matthew.”
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A church at the site was founded by the 8th century. The church was recorded as a diaconia (a centre for helping the poor and the sick) at the end of the pontificate of Pope Gregory II (715-731). It is mentioned in some documents dating from the 10th and 11th centuries, where this church is called in platana (between the plane trees) referring to the tree planted in the garden of the martyr Eustace. However, tradition holds that the emperor Constantine I had previously built an oratory here.
This church was called “ad Pantheon in regione nona e iuxta templum Agrippae” (at the Pantheon in the ninth rione and next to the temple of Agrippa”).
The church was restored and had a new campanile added at the end of the 12th century during the pontificate of Celestine III (1191–1198), who also deposited the putative relics of Eustace and his family in the church. In the 16th century, it was a favored praying-place for St Philip Neri. In the 17th and 18th centuries it was almost completely rebuilt, with only the campanile remaining from the old structure.
The new design, in the Roman Baroque style, was produced by several architects : Cesare Corvara and Giovanni Battista Contini (1641–1723), who added chapels and the portico, Antonio Canevari (1681–1750), Nicola Salvi (1697–1751) and finally, from 1728, Giovanni Domenico Navone.
The new high altar, in bronze and polychrome marble, was added by Nicola Salvi in 1739 and in 1749 Ferdinando Fuga put a baldachin over it. The choir and the sacristy were designed by Canevari and built by Giovanni Moscati.