The Cathedral of Naples is among the most important attractions of the city. It is dedicated to the patron saint Santa Maria Assunta and is full of interesting works of art. Three times a year it hosts the festival of San Gennaro.
Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral Naples
The address of the Cathedral is Via Duomo 149 – 80138 Naples (tel. +39 081449097). Bus: C55. The church itself is free, but admission to the baptistery is 1.50 Euro. Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.; Sundays: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
History and description
Construction of the church began in 1272 and the work was completed in 1315. The patron was Charles of Anjou.
An earthquake in 1456 destroyed much of the church.
The present appearance is the result of renovations that have taken place over the centuries.
For example, the neo-Gothic facade was built only towards the end of the 19th century.
What to see
The Cappella di San Gennaro is graced by, among other things, a fresco by the hand of Giovanni Lanfranco.
The mosaics from the baptistery date from the 4th century.
The highest parts of the nave and the transept are by Luca Giordano.
Chapel of Saint Janarius (San Gennaro)
The Cappella di San Gennaro is located along the left aisle. Designed by Giovanni Cola di Franco, it was finished in 1637. Apart from the already mentioned fresco by Lanfranco that adorns the dome of this chapel, the painting “Saint Janarius Escaping Unharmed from the Furnace” is also worth seeing. In a silver safe behind the altar are the skull of San Gennaro and the two ampoules of blood that three times a year are the highlight of the festival in honor of the saint.
Relics of Saint Janarius are also on display in the Cappella Carafa under the high altar and in the adjoining chapel, in the latter case an urn with some bones and a case with larger bones.
A Basilica inside the Cathedral
To the left of the entrance is a 4th century basilica, incorporated into the Duomo itself. Behind this Basilica di Santa Restituta, completely reconstructed after the earthquake of 1688, is the archaeological zone of the Duomo, with ruins of Greek and Roman buildings and roads.
Next to the Duomo is the Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro. Many of the works exhibited here are ex voto donations. The 18th century palanquin is used on rainy days, when the bust of the saint is carried in a procession through Naples.