Royal Palace of Naples

Naples, Italy

Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.

Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.

During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.

In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.

The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.

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Details

Founded: 17th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Swathi Konath (2 years ago)
There is nothing much to see, but the building is huge and grand with all the marbke work.... It's mind blowing... Rooms are decorated especially walls... Royal theatre is nice....
maria nikopoulou (2 years ago)
One if the most beautiful palaces located in the center of Naples right across the perfect cafeteria Gabrinus. It’s a very well preserved building with outstanding pieces of furniture.A must when visiting Naples
Sonxcha (2 years ago)
Very beautiful palace. Takes about 20 min max. to see everything but it's a great place to take photos.
Andreea Cosa (2 years ago)
The most beautiful palace that I visited. Amazing rooms and views. You'll feel like a king walking through the palace
Rebecca & Kenneth Brandl (3 years ago)
Very nice to walk around for a good price. Halfway through we had an awesome conversation with we believe a maintenance staff person. He went on and on about how he loved American old west movies and then gave us a good history of the city of Naples. Really cool to have a good conversation with a local.
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