The Cathedral of Naples is the main church of the city and an important Catholic institution dedicated to the memory of the patron saint of the city. It has been given several names over the years: the Chapel of Saint Januarius (in Italian: Duomo di Napoli, Cattedrale di San Gennaro), the Cathedral of Saint Mary and of course the most common of all, the Cathedral of Naples.
It can be a little confusing but don’t worry, there is no local resident who does not know the place and will be able to direct you.
The planning of the place was started by King Charles I, while his successor, Charles II, is mainly responsible for its actual construction. The massive construction took place over many years and was completed in the 17th century.
The construction was carried out on the ruins of ancient basilicas, from the days of Roman rule, traces of which can still be seen on the spot.
In those years, Italy suffered from difficult events, among others the plague, the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, and stubborn fighting against the French enemy. The survivors of that dark time aspired to honor the city’s beloved patron, Jaunarius, who was by their side, and to build a magnificent chapel that would bear his name.
During the years of its existence, the church underwent several renovations and received various additions, this interest is evident in the combinations of styles in its design. You will see in the building elements from the Gothic and Baroque periods, the Renaissance period, and the modern period. The last renovation of the place was carried out at the end of the 19th century and put it under the design definition of a neo-Gothic church.
The building is undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the city. The exterior and interior are decorated with, among other things, detailed mosaic work, elements of gold and silver, and many marble sculptures, classic characteristics of a European church.
The central space is divided into both sides by avenues of large stone columns. It has a polygonal structure and contains small, rounded windows. In the center of the space, you can see the main altar, where stands a magnificent statue made of bright white marble.
The same impressive statue presents a typical Catholic image and was sculpted by an unknown artist, somewhere in the 18th century. Above all stretches a high ceiling decorated with detailed paintings from the 17th century.
The building is quite large and contains many rooms. Inside the church, there are several unique prayer halls, built in different periods. They present in them luxurious designs and magnificent works of art, some of which are very old (from the 13th century).
The cathedral is in the historic center of Naples, on the famous main street Via Duomo. Close to many attractions and points of interest in the city. On the right side of the cathedral, you can see another place worth a look – the museum dedicated to that famous patron, Museo del Tesoro di San Gennaro.
Entrance to the cathedral is free, but in order to visit the museum or get a guided tour of the place, tickets must be purchased. The arrival time can be arranged in advance on the website.
Opening times – every day 9:00-17:00. On holidays and Saturdays the place closes at 18:30.