Santa Caterina a Formiello is located at the extreme eastern end of the old historic center of the city, on Via Carbonara and Piazza Enrico de Nicola. Construction of the church began about 1510, designed by the Florentine Antonio della Cava, and completed in 1593. The church was one of the first domes in Naples, and was dedicated to the virgin and martyred Saint of Alexandria. It was attached to an ancient convent originally linked to the Celestine order and which passed to the Dominican fathers after 1498. The convent hosted Dominicans until the 19th century, when it was expropriated, and ultimately became used as a wool factory.
The church has a single-aisle Latin cross interior covered by a barrel vault with five chapels on either side. The Roman Mannerist painter, Luigi Garzi, painted the large picture on the counterfacade. He also painted the triangles above the arches of the chapels, the corbels of the dome, and the great vault of the nave. The dome was painted by Paolo de Matteis. The ceilings of the chapels have frescoes by Guglielmo Borremans.
The main altar was commissioned by the Spinelli family of Cariati, to whom also belong the tombs that encircle it. The funereal monuments were completed by Scilla and Giannotto, two Milanese sculptors. On the wall, beside the altar is a Virgin with St Thomas Acquinas by Francesco Curia. A chapel on the other side has a canvas of St Dominic defeats the Albigensian Heretics by Giacomo del Po.
In the first chapel, all the paintings dedicated to St Catherine of Alessandria are by Giacomo del Po, the Visitation was painted by Garzi. In the next chapel, the chapel of St James, are collected the remains of 240 Martyrs of Otranto, that Alfonso II of Aragon had moved to Naples in 1574. The canvas of the Epiphany was painted by Silvestro Buono, and the Circumcision was completed by Paolo de Matteis. The Conversion of St. Paul was painted by Marco da Siena. The St Vincenzo Ferreri was painted by Santolo Cirillo.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.