Duomo di Napoli

Duomo di Napoli, Naples

Duomo di Napoli
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Neighbourhood: Pendino
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2,677 reviews
Very good

Murmansk, Russia21,605 contributions
Jun. 2021
Officially, the cathedral is called Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta. However, there are a great many churches dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Italy, because the mother of Christ is more interesting to Catholics than Christ himself. Neapolitans call the cathedral San Gennaro, because St. Mary loves all Catholics, Januarius loves only Naples. Naples loves Januarius in return. For allegedly saving from the plague, from earthquakes, from the eruptions of Vesuvius, and simply because this love has been more than 600 years old. Januarius works miracles in response 3 times a year in May, September 19 and December 16, boiling his blood in test tubes. Scientists really say that this is not blood, but a water-containing iron oxide - FeO(OH). It looks like blood, the oxide looks like a gel, but it is worth shaking the test tube, the gel liquefies and, as it were, "boils up". However, Catholic hierarchs do not allow chemical analysis of test tubes. After all, they have been punished so many times already! The shroud of Christ, numerous relics, nails from the cross of Jesus turned out to be 500-1000 years younger during radiocarbon analysis. What will remain to believe?However, sometimes San Genaro's blood doesn't boil. According to the Neapolitans, this is a sign of trouble. It was in 1939 and the Second World War happened, in 1944 - the eruption of Vesuvius, in 1979 - an earthquake. The last time the blood didn't boil was in December 2020. However, the coronavirus had been raging in Italy for 10 months at that time. So the saint works sometimes postfactum.. The rest of the time it is worth seeing the beauty of the cathedral. The most popular is the treasury of San Gennaro, the central element of which is a golden bust of Januarius with the relics of the saint inside. Being here it is impossible not to recall the sparkling comedy of Dino Risi Operation "Saint Januarius". Overcoming the magic of gold, it is necessary to raise your eyes and see the dome painted by Italians Domenichino and Giovanni Lanfranco and Spaniard José de Ribera. The most inaccessible and most important part of the cathedral is the baptismal church of St. John (San Giovanni in Fonte). It dates back to the beginning of the IV century, the time of Emperor Constantine. This means that this is the oldest church building in Europe! It's hard to get there.
Written 26 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Florence, Italy10,653 contributions
Dec. 2021
In his beautiful book "Watching Vesuvius" (2013) the US historian Sean Cocco places the collective proposing of Vesuvius metonymies during the early modern era in a wide range of images, raising Naples to the level of symbol: for example, Naples as focus of "republican virtues", or on the contrary as a city risking a return to a condition of "brutishness" as theorized by the philosopher Giambattista Vico.
This narrative by Cocco came back to my mind when, not for the first time, but this time with great diligence, I visited the chapel of San Gennaro and the attached museum inside the Cathedral.
Truly, the entire Duomo and in particular the chapel of San Gennaro seem to me suitable places to illustrate the oscillation of Naples between nobility and "ferinity" in the early modern era: that is, in the era that substantially shaped Naples as we know it now.
As for the nobility of Naples: the Cathedral is adorned with masterpieces in some cases already dating back to the end of the Middle Ages, when the dizzying growth of the city begins, which will bring it between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to be the third in Europe by population after London and Paris. EG, the Gothic tombs of Archbishop Minutolo (immortalized by Boccaccio in the story of Andreuccio da Perugia, "Decameron", 2nd day, story 5) as well as of other members of the same family, in the right transept. While the Church of Santa Restituta and the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte, which can also be accessed from the Cathedral, allow you to go even further back in the history of the city, up to the Late Antiquity and behind.
But without detracting from this rare stratification of historical evidence, in the Duomo the places where the patron saint of the city, San Gennaro is venerated, are those that most strengthen my vision of Naples as a place of sharp contrasts. Here the magnificence and nobility of the city find further confirmation and exaltation: the large series of admirable silver statues in the Museum is an opportunity to remember that at the time of their manufacturing, at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (so at least the audio guide reports) Naples, with its 300 laboratories, worked 70% of European silver. And again, the institutions of the city to which the cult of the saint is entrusted tell us of a strong civic commitment: the "Deputation" which has existed since 1527, manages - independently from the archbishop - this saint's cult with the help of both the nobility and those who then it was defined as the bourgeoisie.
As for the "ferinity" of Naples: it still manifests itself today in the excesses of mystical fury of some of the San Gennaro's bystanders, which are visible on the occasion of the so-called "prodigy": the dissolution of the saint's blood in the vial that contains it, and which it's expected three times each year (the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, September 19 and December 16).
In my opinion these excesses are the clue, in fact, of a certain "ferinity" of the city, which manifested its worst side in the repression of the "Neapolitan Republic" in 1799, repression led by King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon but strongly supported by the huge plebs of Naples (the so-called "lazzaroni"). The bourgeois ruling class, which in the wake of the ideas of freedom and equality of the French Revolution had ruled the Kingdom after the king's flight, was annihilated by mass executions and unspeakable violence (including cannibalism). And even San Gennaro payed a price for this fury. As his blood liquefied even in the presence of the French occupation army, even the saint was accused of being "Jacobin" and dismissed from the function of patron of Naples, from 1799 to 1814.
Written 16 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kwadendamme, The Netherlands2,611 contributions
Nov. 2021 • Couples
This church still has the look from when it was build from the outside. Build under the rule of the Anjou dynasty. I pressive from the inside.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ζωή Ξ
34 contributions
Aug. 2021
A gem of art and architecture in the center of Naples. I visited the Duomo with my family on August 2021 and I found it amazing. You will be impressed by the wall paintings and the glorious statues of this duomo.
It is unique because inside the Duomo is St. Januarious Chapel. Three times a year, St. Januarius renews his bond with Naples and his blood dissolves in front of thousands of citizens!!!
Don't miss it!
Written 5 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New York City, NY281 contributions
Aug. 2021 • Friends
Happened to walk by as Sunday night mass was being held. Was pretty special to be a part of. The church is beautiful and luckily it wasn’t packed when we were there. Worth a stop! We lit some candles watched some mass then left.
Written 17 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC173 contributions
Aug. 2021
Beautiful cathedral, best and most interesting we saw in Naples. But nothing exceptional, so if you're going to be in other parts of Italy, you can skip this one.
Written 14 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

871 contributions
Sep. 2020
Let's face it:
the main reason why people go to this place is to see the relics (the blood of St. Gennaro) , protagonists of the famous miracle.
Unfortunately, when we went there, it was not possible to enter the room where the relics were kept and, perhaps because of this, we walked inside the church and enjoyed it very much (even the paid part). The structure is impressive and rich in history, so it is a must-see!
Written 23 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

5 contributions
Sep. 2020
Unforgettable place in Naples. Architetecture is amaizing, lots of fantastics pieces of art, paintings, sculptures and marble are simply great.
Written 6 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ana L
Navan, Ireland2,701 contributions
Sep. 2020
Very beautiful cathedral, but the nicest for me was the facade. The interior is nice, as well. Always crowded.
Written 15 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Seeking True Quality
Europe2,988 contributions
Nov. 2019
The official name of this magnificent church is Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta but it is simply known as the Cattedrale di San Gennaro. Its main entrance is on the Via Duomo. The present cathedral was constructed in the XIII. century by the Anjou kings, but the facade is neo-gothic from the end of the XIX. century.

We did not have to pay an entrance fee. Once inside, we were stunned, how the interior - the nave, the aisles, the apse - is well lit by the numerous windows in the clerestory and the apse! The carved and gilded ceiling above the nave is from the XVII. century, it has five large paintings. As we were walking along the aisle, we enjoyed the ancient Roman columns and the subtle church music, but we could not locate its source. In front of the richly decorated high altar, we saw the right and left part of the organ above us, just under the first arches of the nave.

There are numerous side chapels from the aisles but we only had time to visit the two larger ones, the Cappella di San Gennaro and the Basilica of Santa Restituta.

The Cappella di San Gennaro is a big octagonally shaped chapel, under a large dome. It is very lavishly decorated and is dominated by a Baroque porphyry altar with black sculptures created by Francesco Solimena. The front of the altar table is a silver relief created by Giovan Domenico Vinaccia. In the left part of the high altar is the reliquary bust of Saint Gennaro in gold and silver! There are also two side altars and six huge paintings in total, right and left of the high altar.
Written 13 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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