The Ascensione a Chiaia Church in Naples was built in the 14th century under the reign of Robert of Anjou. At the time, this part of the city was still swampy and unhealthy. The church was entrusted to the Order of the Celestines. A plaque commemorates its founder Niccolò di Alife.
Ascensione a Chiaia Church Napels
Adress, opening times and tickets
Address: Piazzetta Ascensione – Naples. phone: +39 081 411657. Opening hours: From 08.30 to 11.30 and 16.30 to 19.30; Sundays and public holidays from 08.00 to 13.00. Entrance fee: Free of charge. Nearest bus stop: Colonna – Amedeo (line 128).
History and description
The first version of the Ascensione a Chiaia Church was built in the 14th century in the old Via Puteolana together with the convent of the Celestine Friars. This was commissioned by the chancellor of Roberto d’Anjou, Niccolò Alunno d’Alife.
The church as it can be admired today is the result of a renovation by the Portuguese nobleman Michele Vaaz de Andrade. The latter had fled into the church to escape arrest (for debts). After having stayed in the church for more than two years, he was acquitted.
After his death, the family had a new church built at his express wish, to be used as the family’s private chapel.
The architect to carry out the construction was Cosimo Fanzago, who completed the church in 1645. The interior decorations, including a number of paintings by Luca Giordano, were only finished in 1657.
In 1767, the dome was rebuilt to a design by Matteo Tramontano.
After the Vaaz family lost their fortune, they had to cede their church to the Celestine Order. The latter immediately had their old building demolished and occupied the new church.
After the Order was suppressed during the French rule, the church was used for military purposes. After the French were expelled, the building came into the hands of the Santa Maria a Cappella Nuova Congregation.
The façade is characterised by three arches. The interior has the floor plan of a Greek cross. There is a dome over the rectangular apse.