Chiesa dei Girolamini

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Napoli

Girolamini is the name of a Church and ecclesiastical complex in Naples, southern Italy. It is located directly across from the Cathedral of Naples on via Duomo. The first cloister or "chiostro maiolicato" is on the site of an earlier building,the Palazzo Seripando, which was donated to the priests of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri in 1586. The original building was demolished and construction started on the new structure in 1592 on plans by the Florentine architect Giovanni Antonio Dosio. The much larger second cloister, dating from the 17nth Century, is reached from the first and in it are found the entrances to both the "Quadreria" or art collection, previously housed in the sacristy of the Church, and the magnificent library of the Oratorian Fathers, now run by the Italian state. The Church dedicated to the Nativity of the Madonna and All Saints has its principal entrance on the Piazza Girolamini reached from the via Tribunale. It is also the work of Dosio as well as that of Nencioni and is in the style of the Florentine Renaissance: a Latin cross with three naves supported by arcuated colonnades and with lateral chapels. The Church contains works by Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Sassoferrato, Francanzano and other artists. The lavishly gilt ceiling was badly damaged during aerial bombardment in February of 1944, but has been partially restored. Later architects, such as Ferdinando Fuga who rebuilt the fa├žade in 1780, also worked on the building. The Church and complex take their name from that which was first applied to the priests of the Oratory and which is derived from the Church of San Girolamo della Carita in Rome where St Philip Neri first established his religious exercises.