Thursday, February 13, 2014

Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore, Naples

The Complesso Monumentale di San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples is a medieval building with a museum upstairs and an archeological excavation downstairs. The ground floor has the cloister, and a courtyard with a well featuring a fine statue of San Lorenzo.

The Cloister at San Lorenzo Maggiore

The well

San Lorenzo in stone

Next to the courtyard is the Sisto V Hall, named after Pope Sixtus V. The 17th century frescoes are amazing. The hall was used as a refectory by the monks; later the Neapolitan Parliament met here.

Sisto V Hall

Detail from ceiling (click to enlarge)

The museum upstairs features a lot of art from various Roman periods, starting with the Graeco-Roman period up to the Renaissance.

Bits of Roman statues

Some more bits

Floor mosaic

Papal medallion

St. Michael and the Dragon

Friar, Madonna and Child, John the Baptist?

Wedding of Mary and Joseph

Princely chair

Bits from an altar

The archeological dig downstairs is the star attraction. It dates back 2000 years and has a wide Roman road in the middle of it.

Down into the archeological area

Roman road

A large variety of shops lined the road, including bakeries, laundries, and the tax collector's office.

A small shop

Larger shop with back rooms, probably the bakery

Stairs going up

At the end of the road is a cryptoporticus--several covered rooms that are connected, providing an "indoor" shopping area. The barrel vaults have skylights to let in light and fresh air.

Into the covered shopping!

One of the vaults

Another staircase

The excavations are quite large and we spent a good time wandering around and occasionally getting separated.

The different levels of the excavation

How did I get separated from the camera?

The final bit

We loved seeing a good variety of things at San Lorenzo Maggiore.

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