The Sant’Agostino alla Zecca Church in Naples is also known as Sant’Agostino Maggiore. Unfortunately the church, which has been closed since the earthquake of 1980, is currently in a state of neglect and decay.
Sant’Agostino alla Zecca Church Naples
History and description
The Chiesa di Sant’Agostino alla Zecca is one of the largest religious buildings in the city. It was constructed in 1287 on an earlier convent of the Basilian Order, at the behest of the Eremitani (“Hermits”) Order. Charles I of Anjou started the construction, but it was finished under Robert of Anjou.
After the earthquake of 1456, the church was reconstructed in a Renaissance style.
Between 1480 and 1484, Onorato II Gaetani d’Aragona, Count of Fondi, financed the reconstruction of the presbytery. He had the ceiling and stained glass windows decorated with his family’s coat of arms.
Between the 17th and 18th centuries a complete reconstruction took place. The bell tower was the work of Bartolomeo Picchiatti, who, with his son Francesco Antonio, also redecorated the cloister and nave. Giuseppe de Vita was responsible for the bell tower.
Giuseppe Astarita designed the dome of the apse.
What to see
The Augustinian cloister was constructed in 1624 by Giovan Giacomo di Conforto, and renovated by Bartolomeo Picchiatti. The arches between the 16 columns alternate between the local gray piperno marble and the white version found in Carrara. The columns are topped with busts of Augustinian saints.
The Chapter House is Gothic in style vaults, with two large columns with reused Swabian capitals.
The basement of the church contains the tomb of the composer Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774).
The basement is further used for the worship of the dead. There is also a small room containing the scolatoio tombs, small stone recesses where the deceased was placed in a foetal position in order to drain off liquids.
Address: Via S. Agostino alla Zecca, 24 – 80139 Napoli.