The Duomo of Naples is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and to the patron of Naples, San Gennaro.
In the Cathedral you can admire the architectural and artistic layers of all the historical ages of the sacred art of Naples through its 2500 years. The Duomo was built in the same place where in Greek-Roman age the temple of Apollo was erected, this last one was then replaced by the basilica of Santa Restituta (IV century). The new Cathedral was begun by Charles I, and then continued by Charles II and finished under the kingdom of Roberto d’Angiò within 1313 in Gothic style, built by Tuscan and Neapolitan workers. The façade shows three portals by Antonio Baboccio da Piperno and lions stylophore with the Virgin Mary and Jesus by Tino da Camaino, and it was completed in the 1905 basing on the project by Enrico Alvino in Neogothic style.
The interior of the Cathedral with three nave aisle is about 100 meters long and the central nave is characterized by a wooden ceiling. The Duomo stands along the east side of the street (Via Duomo) that takes his name from the church itself, in a little square surrounded by arcades, and it includes like side chapels other two worship buildings, erected independently from the main church: the Basilica of Santa Restituta that preserves the most ancient baptistery in the West, the one of San Giovanni in Fonte and the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro, which preserves the relics of the saint patron of the city.
During the second World War the allied bombings damaged heaviliy the structures, so between the 1969 and 1972 a restoration of the church took place with structural consolidation. During the restoration some Roman, Greek and High Medieval remains were found. The Royal Chapel of the Treasure of San Gennaro, wanted as an ex vote for the escaped danger of the plague of 1526, was completed in the 1637.
The interior is Greek-cross shaped, with a dome and 7 altars and represents one of the greatest expression of the seventeenth century’s art in Naples, characterized also by the work by Cosimo Fanzago who realized the magnificent golden bronze gate, the marble balustrade, the marble inlay floor and the statues of Santa Teresa d’Avila and sant’Antonio da Padova. The main altar, designed by Solimena, is enriched by a silver relief by Vinaccia depicting the Relic Translation of San Gennaro from Montevergine. The Paradise by Lanfranco in the dome, Decollazione di San Gennaro by Domenichino and San Gennaro coming out unharmed from the furnace by Ribera are works of great importance.