The Chiesa dei Girolamini in Naples is part of a vast complex including the Oratorio dell’Assunta, two cloisters, the Cappella dei Dotti, the Cappella dei Bambini, a pinacotheque and a library. The church itself challenges the city’s cathedral in size and contains numerous works of art by famous masters. it is also known as San Filippo Neri Church.
Chiesa dei Girolamini Naples
Address: Piazza dei Girolamini – Naples. Phone: +39 081 292316. Opening times: From 08:30 till 19:00; Saturdays and Sundays from 08:30 till 14:00. Ticket price (church, cloister & pinacotheque): 5 Euros (children 2,50 Euros). The library cannot be visited.
(Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Chiesa dei Girolamini faces the square of the same name, which was created in the 17th century by the Order of the Filippini running the church. Members of the order had first moved to Naples in 1586.
The church itself was constructed by Domenico Fontana between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century. He also enlarged the convent, by having some neighboring churches demolished. The church was consecrated in 1619.
Jacopo Lazzari, in the mid-17th century, added the dome.
In the 1690s, the church was reconstructed to a design by Giovanni Antonio Dosio, who used the Roman church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini as a model.
In 1780, Ferdinando Fuga added the two bell towers on the sides. At the same time, he oversaw a restoration of the entire complex.
Antonio Barletta reconstructed the cupola in 1852.
In 1866, the church was declared a National Monument.
The sculpture group above the main portal depicts “Moses and Aaron with the Commandments” and were sculpted by Giuseppe Sanmartino. The same artist was responsible for the “Madonna and Child” at the top of the central part of the facade.
The church measures 68 by 28 meters, which makes it one of the biggest religious buildings of Naples. Its has a Latin cross floor plan and three naves with side chapels. The central nave is supported by 12 columns.
What to see
17th and 18th century artists who contributed to the decorations of the church were painters and sculptors such as Pomarancio, Federico Zuccari, Fabrizio Santafede, Guido Reni, Pietro da Cortona, Luca Giordano, Nicola Malinconico, Francesco Solimena and Pietro Bernini.
Luca Giordano painted the fresco “Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple” above the portals of the counterfacade in 1684.
The frescoes above the door to the bell towers were painted in 1736 by Ludovico Mazzanti. They depict “The Expulsion of Heliodorus” and “The Punishment of Uzziah”.