Chiesa di Sant'Anna dei Lombardi

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Napoli

Sant'Anna dei Lombardi (Italian St. Anne of the Lombards) is a church and monastic complex in Naples, southern Italy. It was originally named S. Maria di Monteoliveto ("Mount of Olives") and was founded in 1411 under king Ladislas of Durazzo. The newer appellation "Sant'Anna dei Lombardi" stems from the beginning of the 19th century when king Ferdinand of Naples authorized the lay brotherhood of the Lombardi to reside on the premises since their own nearby church dedicated to Sant'Anna, built by Cosimo Fanzago in the 16th century was severely damaged by a collapse in 1798. The entire complex was at one time one of the largest monasteries in Italy, occupying what today can be measured only in "city blocks". Urban renewal from the 1930s literally built around the old premises, leaving much of the original structure standing in the center. For example, the gigantic main post office in Naples is at west end of the old monastery and the older edifice was simply incorporated into the back of the post office such that the monastery seems to flow out of the more modern building. At the east end, the church, itself, is still in use, but the adjacent monastery premise and courtyard are now a Carabinieri (Italian national police force) barracks. Within the church, there are a number of prominent works by artists from all over Italy. These include the monument tomb of Maria d'Aragona in the Piccolomini chapel and the Annunciation alter in the Curiale chapel. Paintings of interest within the church include works by Giorgio Vasari and Pedro Rubiales. It is also home to a group sculpture in terracotta from 1492 by Guido Mazzoni of the "Lament over the Dead Christ", and of the tomb of Domenico Fontana.