Church of San Domenico Maggiore

Walking through the historic center of Naples, where Spaccanapoli intersects with Via Mezzocannone, you come in San Domenico Maggiore Square, one of the most characteristic and romantic squares of the city. Here is the imposing obelisk of San Domenico, surmounted by the bronze statue of the Saint.

San Domenico Maggiore Square is the door of the lower Decumanus. It defines the exact center of the historical perimeter of Naples and revolves around the obelisk of San Domenico, “ex voto” of the Neapolitans for an epidemic of plague averted in 1656.

Inside the square there is one of the most beautiful monumental churches in the city: the Church of San Domenico Maggiore, built between 1283 and 1324 by the will of Carlo III d’Angiò.

The structure is an example of Neapolitan baroque style.

The majestic Church has three entrances: the main one is located in Vico San Domenico inside the large courtyard of the convent; while, the other two entrances are positioned in the square, one closed to the public, is located under a fifteenth-century balcony, the other leads to the lateral transept of the church through a huge staircase on the western side of the square.

The interior of the church is very large and has a Latin cross plan divided into three naves.

Still inside, there are numerous works of art, both sculptural and pictorial, and a marvelous organ made up of 1640 canes.

The church has undergone various changes due to the many restorations, including a wall covering and a gilding of the arches and capitals.

The Brancaccio chapel is wonderful, giving the idea of ​​what the church was like in the fourteenth century. The chapel of the crucifix is ​​the place where, tradition tells, Christ spoke to Saint Tommaso d’Aquino. In the sacristy, there are forty-five coffins containing the remains of the Aragonese Kings and of characters such as Don Ferrante d’Avalos, husband of Vittoria Colonna, who won and captured Francesco I di Valois in Pavia.

The Church, together with its adjacent convent, is one of the largest and most important religious complexes in the city, both from a historical, artistic and cultural point of view.

 

 

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