Built in Norman times, Castel Capuano is the oldest castle in Naples. Although originally built as a fortress, it became the royal residence of Frederick II of Swabia. Highlights include the Salone della Corte d’Appello and the Cappella della Sommaria with their beautiful frescoes, paintings and ornamental plasterwork.
Castel Capuano Naples
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza E. De Nicola, 2 – 80139 Napoli. Phone: +39 0814107211. Opening hours: The Cappella Sommario is open from 09:00 to 18:30. Entrance fee: Unknown. Metro: Garibaldi (lines 1, 2).
History and Description
The Castel Capuano stands at the end of the Via dei Tribunali. On the tower you can see the coat of arms of Charles V. It is believed to have been built on the spot where a fortress defending the Porta Capuana used to be. The castle also owes its name to this ancient city gate.
During the time the Normans ruled Naples, the castle served as a royal residence. After it was restored by the House of Anjou, it lost its military function under the Aragonese, as it had since come to lie within the city walls.
Pedro de Toledo expropriated the castle in 1540 to turn it into the seat of judicial administration. Only recently did the new Centro Direzionale begin to take over this function.
Simultaneously, restoration of the castle’s halls began, which has also increased tourist interest.
Cappella della Sommaria
The famous Cappella della Sommaria is reached through the Salone della Corte d’Appello, decorated with 18th-century frescoes. In the Sala dei Busti, one can admire busts of the forum’s most famous lawyers.
The walls and vaults of the Cappella della Sommaria are decorated with gilded plasterwork and grotesque statues. Around 1547 Pedro Rubiales painted the walls with frescoes depicting Biblical events and “The Last Judgment.” The “Pietà” on the altar is also his work.