Catacombe di San Gennaro | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Catacombe di San Gennaro

Naples, Campania, Italy

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020

About Catacombe di San Gennaro

The Catacombs of San Gennaro are an incredible collection of ancient underground tombs in Naples, some dating back as far as the second and third centuries AD.

History of Catacombe di San Gennaro

Located near San Gennaro church, the catacombs were in use from the early era of Christianity to at least the later middle ages and possibly beyond.

The relics of San Gennaro, which were located there until the ninth century, are long gone, having been first moved to Benevento and then located in Naples Cathedral. Nevertheless, the catacombs are still a fascinating site and the burial place of many of the bishops of Naples from medieval times. In the fifteenth century, the Catacombs of San Gennaro acquired the sinister role of being the burial place of victims of plague.

Catacombe di San Gennaro today

Dimly lit and hauntingly atmospheric, the catacombs span two floors in which visitors can see sets of archways and well preserved frescos and mosaics, some having been created in the second century AD. The area of ​​the catacombs extends over 5600 square meters dug into the tuff of the Capodimonte hill and welcomes about 3000 burials.

In addition to the burials of common bishops and deceased, the Catacombs of San Gennaro include a pictorial-mosaic heritage from the inestimable value as Byzantine paintings of the 9th to 10th century AD and valuable mosaics of the 5th century. The highlight for many is the painting of San Gennaro himself.

Getting to Catacombe di San Gennaro

Catacombe di San Gennaro is located right in the heart of Naples, in southern Italy. If travelling via bus, lines 168, 178, C63 and R4 all alight at stop no. 3250 – Basilica dell’Incoronata – Catacombs of San Gennaro. If travelling by car, take the Naples Tangenziale and come off at exit no. 5 – Capodimonte. Turn right into Via Capodimonte and the Basilica will be on the right after 200 metres. If you prefer to travel by car, you can use the site’s car park free of charge.

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