The Museum of the Treasury of San Gennaro houses a collection of valuable objects and artifacts associated with Saint Januarius (San Gennaro), the patron saint of Naples. The museum is located in the Cathedral of the city.
Museum of the Treasury of San Gennaro Naples
Address: Via Duomo, 149 – 80138 Napoli. Phone: +39 081 294980. Opening hours: From 09:30 till 18:00. Admission: 12 Euros (65+: 8,50 Euros; younger than 13: Free; family ticket: 24 Euros for 3 people, plus 6 Euro extra for each person older than 12). Combi-ticket: Tesoro + Museo Filangieri: 15 Euros.
History and description
The collection includes gold and silver reliquaries, ancient coins, precious jewels, and sacred vestments. The most famous object in the collection is the ampoule containing the blood of Saint Januarius, which is said to miraculously liquefy three times a year.
It is also a symbol of the strong connection between the people of Naples and their patron saint, whose blood miracle is celebrated as a sign of protection and devotion to the city.
The Necklace of San Gennaro dates from 1679 and consists of thirteen large solid gold links. A cross studded with sapphires and emeralds hangs off each one of these links.
The Mantle of San Gennaro is covered with gems and enamels depicting the elements from the coat of arms of the family of the saint.
Other highlights include a gilded silver miter (1713) and the gold chalice (1761), which are both decorated with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The number of gems on the miter is close to 4000.
Royal Chapel of the Treasury
The Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro is one of the main parts of the museum complex. Originally built in the 16th century as part of the Palazzo Reale, it was transformed into a chapel in the 18th century by King Charles III. The King dedicated the chapel to the veneration of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples. Highlights inside the chapel are the “Madonna and Child” by Luca Giordano and a silver bust reliquary of San Gennaro by Giuseppe Sanmartino.
It is believed that no inhabitant of Naples, which is not really known as the most law-abiding city of the world, will never dare to steal anything from the Treasury.