Basilica reale pontificia di San Francesco di Paola

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Napoli

San Francesco di Paola is a church in Naples, southern Italy. It is located at the west side of Piazza del Plebiscito, the city's main square. In the early 19th century, King Joachim Murat of Naples (Napoleon's brother-in-law) planned the entire square and the large building with the colonnades as a tribute to the emperor. When Napoleon was finally dispatched, the Bourbons were restored to the throne of Naples. Ferdinand I continued the construction - finished in 1816 - but converted the final product into the church one sees today. He dedicated it to Saint Francis of Paola, who had stayed in a monastery on this site in the 16th century. The church is reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. The fa├žade is fronted by a portico resting on six columns and two Ionic pillars. Inside, the church is circular with two side chapels. The dome is 53 metres high.