Gesu' Nuovo

The imposing façade of the Gesu' Nuovo in piazza del Gesu'.

The imposing façade of the Gesu' Nuovo in piazza del Gesu'.

In the heart of the inner city, in piazza del Gesú, there is the breathtaking church of Gesu' Nuovo which is an exquisite example of the Baroque, from the unique façade faced with diamond-shaped ashlars to the marvellous interiors in marble.  It was originally a palace built in 1470 for Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno and became the centre of Neapolitan life.  The façade is unique with its diamond shaped ashlars and its spectacular interiors made of marble. In the 1580s it was converted into a church by the Jesuits.  The grandiose plan included a Greek cross church with its longitudinal arm slightly elongated, a great dome in the middle and four minor lateral ones. The interior is decorated with typical features of the Baroque style, like the elegant coloured marble creating illusions of vases with flowers, festoons, and masks embellished the architrave.  Here worked the most important Neapolitan master painters, like Francesco Solimena, who frescoed the inner façade in 1725, Massimo Stanzione Jusepe de Ribera and Luca Giordano and architects and sculptors like Cosimo Fanzago.  He worked here decorating the incredible Saint Charles Borromeo Chapel (first chapel on the right), on the far side of the transept are his most famous masterpieces the Saint Francesco Saverio Chapel, on the right, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola Chapel on the left.  The original dome was decorated by Giovanni Lanfranco and according to records it was the biggest in the city.  Unfortunately only the corner arches have survived due to bombing during WWII.  Other chapels are dedicated to saint Francis de Geronimo, containing the reliquaries of the saint and Giuseppe Moscati, whose body rests in an urn under the altar and attractis many worshippers.  Noteworthy is the Sacresty with rich stuccos and frescos by Aniello Falcone created in 1652. 

The dome reconstructed after the war, with the frescoes still visible in the corner arches, by Giovanni Lanfranco.

The dome reconstructed after the war, with the frescoes still visible in the corner arches, by Giovanni Lanfranco.

The splendid marble interior....and a monk.

The splendid marble interior....and a monk.

The high altar with the sculptures of The Madonna and Saint Peter and Saint Paul by Antonio Busciolano, dated 1857-59.  The ceiling-dome is decorated with paintings by Massimo Stanzione.

The high altar with the sculptures of The Madonna and Saint Peter and Saint Paul by Antonio Busciolano, dated 1857-59.  The ceiling-dome is decorated with paintings by Massimo Stanzione.

The spectacular sculptures of the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Chapel by Cosimo Fanzago.

The spectacular sculptures of the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Chapel by Cosimo Fanzago.

Detail of the Baroque style.

Detail of the Baroque style.

Details of the typical Baroque style.

Details of the typical Baroque style.

Detail of the façade.

Detail of the façade.

Official website: Gesù Nuovo 

piazza del Gesù Nuovo, 2 - 80134 Napoli

Tel.: +39 081 557 81 11

Email: parroco@gesunuovo.it

Free entry

Opening Hours:  Mon - Sun 07.30 - 13.00 Evenings 16.00 - 19.30 

Every third Saturday of the month free guided tours from 15.00 to 18.00

Nearest metro station:  Linea 1 - DANTE