Cappella di San Severo

History

The Sansevero Chapel is a chapel located on St Francesco de Sanctis, just northwest of the church of San Domenico Maggiore, in the historic center of Naples. Its origin dates to 1590 when John Francesco di Sangro, Duke of Torremaggiore, after recovering from a serious illness, had a private chapel built in what were then the gardens of the nearby Sansevero family residence, the Palazzo Sansevero. The building was converted into a family burial chapel by Alessandro di Sangro in 1613. The chapel is a place where you can feel the true essence of Naples and it houses almost thirty works of art, among which is the Veiled Christ, a marble sculpture made by Giuseppe Sanmartino and it is considered one of the world’s most remarkable sculptures. Raimondo di Sangro’s fame as an alchemist has spawned various legends about him. One of these regards the veil of Sanmartino’s Christ. For over two-hundred-and-fifty years, in fact, travelers, tourists and even a number of academics, incredulous at the transparency of the shroud, have mistakenly thought it the result of some chemical process of “marblisation” worked by the Prince of Sansevero. The chapel also displays two early examples of what was long thought to be a form of plastination in its basement. These “anatomical machines” were thought to be examples of the process of “human metallization” as implemented by anatomist Giuseppe Salerno. The exhibit consists of a mature male and a pregnant woman. Their skeletons are encased in the hardened arteries and veins which are colored red and blue respectively. The Anatomical Machines have fueled the so-called “black legend” about the Prince of Sansevero. According to popular belief, Raimondo di Sangro “had two of his servants killed, a man and a woman, and had the bodies strangely embalmed so that they showed all the viscera, the arteries and the veins”. The origins of the Sansevero Chapel are also closely connected to a legendary incident. Cesare d’Engenio Caracciolo tells in his Sacred Naples of 1623 that, in 1590, an innocent man who was being led to prison in chains passed before the garden of the di Sangro palace in Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, and saw a part of the garden wall collapse and an image of the Madonna appear. He promised the Virgin Mary to offer her a silver lamp and a dedication if only his innocence might be recognized. Once released, the man was faithful to his vow. The sacred image thus became a place of pilgrimage and prayer, and many other graces were received there.



Schedule

From Thursday to Monday

From 9:00 to 19:00

Tuesday and Wednesday

Closed

Last entry 30 minutes before closing time

Info

Price

Full price

€ 8,00

Reduced price

€ 5,00

From 10 to 25 years

Elementary, lower secondary and high schools only on weekdays. € 3,00

Free admission for one teacher per ten students.
Evening courses do not take advantage of the rate reserved for school groups

Special rate

€ 6,00

Rate dedicated to FAI members

Free

Yes

Children up to 9 years

Audioguide

€ 3,50

POS

Avaible

Tips

Book your entrance ticket online well in advance and choose morning visiting times to avoid long queues at the entrance.

It is better to visit the Chapel Sansevero in the morning to avoid the crowd of tourists, and at the same time discover the surrounding area and eat a tasty pizza in Tribunali St. Arriving at the opening time means being able to enjoy its wonder first of all and then be able to take a trip downtown and eat a pizza in Via dei Tribunali, the street where you can find the most famous pizzerias in the city.

How to get there

Address

Via Francesco de Sanctis, 19/21, 80134 Napoli NA

Public transport

From Piazza Garibaldi take metro Line 1 and get off at Dante stop, then 9 minutes walk.

From Piazza Garibaldi take metro Line 1 and get off at Università stop, then 10 minutes walk.

From Naples Airport take bus 182 and get off at Via Foria, then 18 minutes walk.

From Naples Airport take alibus and get off at Immacolatella stop, then 15 minutes walk.

Ti diamo il benvenuto su MyTripToNaples