Naples Cathedral

Duomo di Napoli

The Historic Center of Naples has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, which features one of the most beautiful architecture in the city, is its notable landmark. As well as this, the Roman Catholic church houses the city's oldest basilica and a vial of Saint Januarius' blood.

While the Napes Cathedral isn't very eye-catching from the outside, the richness of its interior makes it well worth a visit. It hosts the ceremony of the dissolution of the blood of St. Januarius, the city's patron saint, three times a year: on the first Saturday of May, September 19, and December 16, and attracts thousands of Christian devotees every year. If the blood of St. Januarius doesn't melt, Neapolitans believe it signifies the start of a disastrous period for Naples. Interestingly, his blood didn't dissolve in 1939, the year the Second World War began, or in 1943, the Nazis occupied Naples.



The Neapolitan city is fantastic! Honestly, I don't believe in religious miracles, so I visited the Cathedral of Naples for another reason. Historical Roman Catholic church buildings, like any other masterpieces of old architecture, fascinate me in every European city. The Naples Cathedral is a part of the city's artistic, cultural, and historical heritage – visiting the church was simply a pleasant experience for me.

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Naples Map


The Church's Brief History


King Robert of Anjou completed the Naples Cathedral, founded by King Charles I of Anjou in the 13th century on two ancient basilicas: Santa Restituta and Stephanie, during the 14th century. The demolished latter one made a place for the new building, and the Basilica of St. Restituta became a side chapel. The building complex got rebuilt a few times throughout its history; the beauty of the structure we admire now is a consequence of reconstructions.


Architecture


Designed in the shape of a Latin cross, the church consists of a hall divided into three naves with ten side chapels (five on each side), altars, and funerary monuments. The central nave, 100 meters (330 feet) long, originally had an upper interior surface of wooden trusses. In the 17th century, it got a massive carved and gilded wood ceiling with painted biblical scenes. The stucco decorations also date from the late 17th century. The aisles feature a cross vault with Baroque ornamentation. The 19th-century Neo-Gothic façade of the Naples Cathedral is approximately 50 meters (160 feet) high and has three portals.



St. Januarius' Chapel


There is an entrance to St. Januarius' Chapel in the Cathedral's right nave. The chapel, built by Francesco Grimaldi in the first half of the 17th century and featuring frescoes by Domenichino and Giovanni Lanfranco, is a jewel of Neapolitan Baroque art. It houses a statue of Cardinal Oliviero Carafa and St. Januarius' dried blood. 


Basilica of St. Restituta


The Basilica of St. Restituta, the oldest in Naples, which dates back to the early Christian era, has an entrance in the left nave of the Cathedral. Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine I, it became a chapel as part of the building complex after the earthquake of 1456. The 17th century saw restoration work in the Baroque style. Even 27 ancient Greek columns, as well as outstanding mosaics and a spectacular ceiling, characterize the basilica's internal space. Beneath the structure, there is a Greek wall from the temple of Apollo.


Naples Cathedral in Pictures

Duomo di Napoli
Naples Cathedral's Neo-Gothic façade

Duomo di Napoli
Naples Cathedral's carved and gilded wood ceiling with paintings depicting biblical scenes

Duomo di Napoli
Naples Cathedral's interior

Duomo di Napoli
Naples Cathedral's main altar

How to Get There


The Cathedral stands approximately 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) from Napoli Centrale train station. Walking and taking public transportation are the best ways to get there.

Address: Via Duomo, 147, 80138 Napoli NA, Italy


By Public Transportation

Bus (lines 147, 182, 184, 201, 584, 650, 667, 684): Foria - Metropolitana

Metro (line 2): Napoli Piazza Cavour

Train (line MET): Napoli Piazza Cavour


Opening Hours & Ticket Prices


If you plan to visit the Cathedral of Naples, please check its website for operating hours and admission fees.


Historical Naples Tour: Origin, Cults & Legends


Take the Historical Naples Tour if you want to see the Cathedral of Naples and learn about the city's culture while strolling through the historic center with a stop for an authentic espresso along the way.


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