The Palazzo San Giacomo is the town hall of Naples. It is located near the Royal Palace and the Castel Nuovo in the Piazza del Municipio. The San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church is incorporated into the building.
Palazzo San Giacomo Naples
Address: Piazza del Municipio, 22 – Napoli. Phone: Unknown. Metro: Municipio. Entrance fee: Free guided tours are available. (Note: During the Covid crisis, the Green pass is mandatory when visiting most museums and monuments).
History and description
The Palazzo San Giacomo was built between 1919 and 1925 by Stefano and Luigi Gasse. At that time, the House of Bourbon still ruled over what was then the Kingdom of Naples. King Ferdinand wanted to house all the ministries of this kingdom under one roof.
Since the unification of Italy in 1861 the building has served as the town hall of Naples. However, the original palazzo was divided into two parts. The front was converted into a town hall, while the rear part was gradually acquired by the Banco di Napoli.
The San Giacomo degli Spagnoli Church is inocrporated into the right wing of the building. This church dates back to 1540. It was commissioned by Viscount Pedro di Toledo for the then hospital for Spanish soldiers. The architect was Ferdinando Manlio. The palace was named after the church.
What to see
Near the Via Imbriani entrance, an originally Roman bust of a woman is attached. The bust is known as Marianna ‘a capa ‘e Napule and is one of the symbols of the city. Originally it depicted Partenope, the only siren who did not turn into a rock after Odysseus’ passage. She plunged into the sea, drowned, and washed up on the spot where the city of Neapolis would later be founded. (The mythical name of Naples was Partenope.)
There are two niches in the atrium, containing statues of Roger of Sicily and Frederick of Swabia. Inscriptions on the pedestals describe their feats.
The atrium leads to a courtyard, with a double staircase. The statues of Francesco I and Federico I that used to be here were later replaced by allegorical figures.
There used to be a corridor, leading directly from the Piazza del Municipio to the Via Toledo.