It was Pope Clement VII, when he was Cardinal Giulio di Guiliano de Medici, that gave the order for the San Luigi dei Francesi to be constructed in 1518. The church was built as a seat for his cardinalship as well as to benefit the French community of Rome. The church came to be built at the asking and using the donations of Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II of France and also great niece to the Cardinal. She wanted a church built for the French in Rome, and donated funds.
There was a tiny church at the site of San Luigi dei Francesi, known as Santa Maria, which was possessed by Medici family. This church was in turn previously home to the Baths of Agrippa and the Baths of Nero. Santa Maria served the French community for quite some time, and also had an infirmary hospital on the site of the church.
Cardinal Guilio appointed [...]