The Monteverginella church compex in Naples was founded in the early 14th century. The church contains multiple decorations by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. There is also a piece of an exploded American war ship, that landed in the cloister without causing any harm.
Monteverginella Church Naples
Address: Via Paladino, 20 – Naples. Phone: +39 081 454666. Opening times: From 10.00 till 12.00 and from 15.30 till 18.30. Ticket price: Free. Official name: Chiesa di Santa Maria di Montevergine.
History and description
The Monteverginella Church and Cloister were founded in 1314 by Bartolomeo di Capua, an important jurist and political advisor of Charles II of Anjou. He is buried in the Duomo.
In the 18th century, the church was renovated and lost many of its Gothic elements.
The cloister, of rectangular shape, is catterizzato from twenty-eight pillars in piperno and pillars decorated with capitals tuscanico in travertine in the ambulatory. In the center there is a well dating back to the seventeenth century.
What to see
One main attraction of the convent is its cloister, with stucco decorations by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. It is characterized by 28 piperno pillars. The pillars of the ambulatory are made of travertino marble. The central well was added in the 17th century.
Vaccaro was responsible for many of the decorations inside the church, including paintings, frescoes and marble sculptures.
The fifth chapel on the left contains a 16th century “Madonna della Vittoria”. The background of the work shows the battle of Lepanto, with above it a tiara and St. Peter’s keys. The latter are transformed into cannons firing at the Turkish fleet. This chapel also contains the mortal remains of Santa Cristina.
The De Marinis Chapel contains several relics, including one of the bones of Naples’ main saint, San Gennaro.
During World War II, an American ship exploded. One of the pieces ended up landing right in the cloister. To commemorate the event, this piece was placed at the foot of the Madonna statue.