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Piazza Navona is an elliptical-shaped square in Rome just across the Tiber from the Vatican. Its shape belies its origins as a games stadium built in the reign of Domitian, but it is renowned today for the baroque art and architecture on display in and around it. The centrepiece is Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers (1651), constructed around an Egyptian obelisk. The rivers are the Danube, Rio della Plata, Nile and Ganges, each personification realised by one of Bernini's students. At each end are two more fountains both by Porta: the Fountain of Neptune and the Fountain of the Moor (1570s). Of the buildings surrounding the square the most famous is Borromini and Rainaldi's Church of Saint Agnes. The church was built on the site of St Agnes' alleged martyrdom and miracle. Until 1869 the square was the site of the city market, and today it retains this atmosphere especially at Christmas with stalls, displays and cribs. Throughout the year it is a busy place of cafés and street life.
Palazzo della Cancelleria
The Palace of the Chancellery was built between 1485 and 1513. Properties of the Vatican and the ecclesiastical courts. The building is in Renaissance style and retains a large fresco by Vasari. In 1938 he was found in the underground tomb of the Aulo Irzio, Roman consul and assistant to Cesare. On its right is the ancient church of San Lorenzo in Damaso.