Santa Chiara Church and Cloister

The Medieval façade of Santa Chiara.

The Medieval façade of Santa Chiara.

Near the Gesú Nuovo church, there is the monumental complex of Santa Chiara, one of the most important buildings commissioned by the French Kingdom of Anjou for the Franciscan order.  Built in 1340,  it is a rare example of Medieval architecture in Napoli.  The convent was to accommodate both monks and nuns in two separate buildings but at the same time depending on the same church.  The church was then built in a simple Gothic style, with the typical Neapolitan yellow tufa. Unfortunately, the church has been reconstructed changing the original features into the Baroque style with marbles, polychrome stuccos and exorbitant decorative elements by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro between 1742 and 1769.  Sadly, in 1943 the church was partially bombed during the second world war.  It was decided that it would be rebuilt in its original Gothic style.  It was reopened in 1953.  Most of the antiques sculptures have returned to their original location, including the splendid tombs of the member of the Anjou family, like the monumental tomb of Robert of Anjou dated 1343, the tomb of Mary Valois, second wife of Robert, and his son's tomb.  A small part of a fresco still remains from the medieval decoration attributed to Giotto (who stayed in Napoli between 1328 and 1333) and his workshop. 

The medieval interior.

The medieval interior.

The fine cloister outside the church is richly decorated with majolica tiles and it is a pure gem of the eighteenth century, designed by Domenico Antionio Vaccaro.  He left the original medieval plan of the cloister but redesigning parts of it, adding two wide paths in the middle, the fine majolica decorations on the pillars with motif of vine shoots and wisteria twisting up, flowers, lemons while the seats are decorated with scenes of the city and country life in the eighteenth century. 

The cloister with maiolica decorations.

The cloister with maiolica decorations.

Details of the seats and pillars.

Details of the seats and pillars.

Frescoes on the walls around the cloister.

Frescoes on the walls around the cloister.

Official website: Monastero di Santa Chiara

Via Santa Chiara, 49/c - 80134 Napoli

Tel/Fax.: +39 081 551 66 73 / +39 081 797 12 24 / +39 081 797 12 31

Email: info@monasterodisantachiara.eu

Church free entry

Tickets for the Cloister and Museum: € 6 / Concessions € 4,50 

Opening hours:

Church: Mon - Sun 07.30 - 13.00, evening 16.30 - 20.00

Cloister and Museum: Mon - Fri 09.30 - 17.30 / Sat - Sun and holidays 10.00 - 14.30

Nearest metro:  Linea 1 - DANTE