The Pappacoda Chapel is located immediately to the right of the San Giovanni Maggiore Basilica in the heart of Naples. It is a rare example of Gothic architecture in the city. To protect the deconsecrated church from vandalism, it has been found necessary to build a fence around the facade.
Pappacoda Chapel Naples
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Largo San Giovanni Maggiore – Naples. Unfortunately, the church can only be viewed from the outside. The official name is Cappella di San Giovanni dei Pappacoda.
History and Description
The Cappella Pappacoda is named after Arturo Pappacoda. In 1415, this advisor to King Ladislaus of Anjou had the chapel built to house the tombs of his family.
The only part of the church that one can see is the façade and even this is protected by a sturdy fence.
A yellow volcanic stone known as tuff was used as the building material.
The facade itself is characterized by multiple Biblical symbols and figures.
Recognizable among them are the archangel Saint Michael with the defeated dragon under his feet and the Madonna and Child between John the Evangelist and John the Baptist.
The archivolt shows Christ, under a shield and surrounded by angels.
The Gothic portal is made of white marble and the stone type piperno. Antonio Baboccia was the designer. The floral decorations are particularly striking.
At the top of the portal is a statue depicting God among a choir of angels worshiping the coat of arms of the House of Anjou-Durazzo.
The bell tower, also Gothic, dates from the 15th century. The windows of the tower are decorated with precious stones and architectural elements from the Roman period.
The interior is rectangular. There is not much left of the original decorations.
Highlights are two tomb columns made by Girolamo Santacroce in the first half of the 16th century.
Angelo Viva was responsible for the statues of the Evangelists on either side of the tomb of Angelo Pappacoda.
Behind the high altar, a “St. John the Evangelist” can be seen, showing influences of the 17th/18th century Neapolitan painter Francesco Solimena.