Religious building

Basilica di San Paolo Maggiore

Piazza San Gaetano, Napoli

The Basilica of St. Paolo Maggiore, in St. Gaetano Square, was built on the ruins of the ancient Dioscuri Temple, of which there are two Corinthian columns of the main facade. The first group dedicated to St. Paul stood between the eighth and ninth centuries, in gratitude for the victory over the Saracens. In the sixteenth century it was occupied by the Teatini Regular Clerics, who started an extensive reconstruction designed by Francesco Grimaldi. The nave frescoes and the masonry vault, then collapsed in the earthquake of 1688, date back to the seventeenth century.  The decorative work are continued with Domenico Antonio Vaccaro and Francesco Solimena, who reused the collapsed marble for interior floors, and Giuseppe Astarita, with a transept and the deep polygonal apse. The new facade, which incorporates the columns, also hosts two niches with the statues of Peter and Paul. In the 60s, during the renovations, were found the remains of the ancient Temple and a cemetery, today available. Are part of the Sanctuary also the Basilica of St. Gaetano Thiene, and the Church of the Holy Cross (or "Sciabica"). In the nave is exposed the statue of the Guardian Angel, by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro; the naves are home to seven chapels with frescoes, stucco, sculptures and historical cribs. The Cloister is seat of the Notary.

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