San Gennaro Obelisk Naples

The San Gennaro Obelisk (Guglia di San Gennaro) takes up central position in a small square just off the Via dei Tribunali in Naples. It is a 24 meter tall baroque construction and was built after the city had survived a 20 three week long eruption of the Vesuvius.

San Gennaro Obelisk Naples

Useful information

Top San Gennaro Obelisk Naples
Top part of the Guglia di San Gennaro

Address: Piazza Riario Sforza – Napoli.

History and description

The 24 meter tall Guglia di San Gennaro is located on the Piazza Sisto Riario Sforza, a square between the back of Naples Cathedral and the Pio Monte della Misericordia Church.

Its construction had been commissioned by the Deputation of the Treasury of San Gennaro as a thanksgiving after a catastrophe had been avoided during the eruption of the Vesuvius in 1631. This had been the first eruption in 130 years and lasted 20 days.

The obelisk consists of a tall square column ending in an Ionic capital. The obelisk is topped by a bronze statue of San Gennaro. The sculpture at the bottom depicts the Siren Parthenope with a shield with words expressing the city’s gratitude to San Gennaro for saving its inhabitants.

The obelisk was constructed between 1645 and 1660 by Cosimo Fanzago. The statue of San Gennaro was the work of Tommaso Montani.

Guglia di San Gennaro, Naples

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