Historic Centre of Naples

1920px-centro_antico_napoli

Naples (Baku/Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0).

City and Province of Naples, Campania
N40 51 5 E14 15 46
Date of Inscription: 1995
Minor boundary modification inscribed year: 2011
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Property : 1,021 ha
Buffer zone: 1,350 ha
Ref: 726bis
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From the Neapolis founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C. to the city of today, Naples has retained the imprint of the successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This makes it a unique site, with a wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.

Located in southern Italy, Naples is a major port city in the centre of the ancient Mediterranean region. Its origins go back to its foundation as Parthenope or Palaepolis in the 9th century B.C., subsequently re-established as Neapolis (New City) in 470 B.C. It is therefore one of the most ancient cities in Europe, whose current urban fabric preserves a selection of outstanding elements of its long and eventful history, as expressed in its street pattern, its wealth of historic buildings and parks, the continuation of many of its urban and social functions, its wonderful setting on the Bay of Naples and the continuity of its historical stratification.

Naples was among the foremost cities of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the transmission of Greek culture to Roman society. It eventually became a major cultural centre in the Roman Republic, civitas foederata. Sections of the Greek town walls excavated since World War II and the excavated remains of a Roman theatre, cemeteries and catacombs testify to this history. In the 6th century A.D., Naples was conquered by the Byzantine Empire, becoming an autonomous Duchy, later associated with the Normans, Swabians, and the Sicilian reign. Evidence of this period includes the churches of San Gennaro extra moenia, San Giorgio Maggiore, and San Giovanni Maggiore with surviving elements of 4th and 5th century architecture, the chapel of Santa Restituta in the 14th-century cathedral, and the Castel dell’Ovo, one of the most substantial survivals from the Norman period, although subsequently remodelled on several occasions.

With the Angevin dynasty (1265-1442), Naples became the living symbol of the prestige, dignity, and power of the dynasty. The city expanded to include suburbs and neighbouring villages. The Angevin also initiated an influential relationship with Western art and architecture, particularly French Gothic, integrated with the earlier Greek and Arab elements. The convents of Santa Chiara and San Lorenzo Maggiore and the churches of Donna Regina and I’lncoronata, San Lorenzo Maggiore, San Domenico Maggiore and the new Cathedral date from this period.

From the 15th to 17th centuries, Naples was governed by the Aragonese, who remodelled the defences and street pattern, and constructed the Castel Nuovo largely in the Tuscan style as one of the foremost centres of their empire. The period of Spanish rule is marked by the Royal Palace built in 1600 along one side of the imposing Piazza del Plebiscito, the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi charitable institution, the convent of Sant’Agostino degli Scalzi, and the Jesuit College on Capodimonte.

From 1734, under the government of the Bourbons, Naples emerged, together with Paris and London, as one of the major capital cities of Europe. The architectural heritage of Naples from this period was widely influential, and is expressed particularly in the interior design of the royal palaces and associated noble residences that were part of the territorial system extending far beyond the city itself. Important palaces of the 18th century include the large palace Albergo dei Poveri, the National Archaeological Museum, the Certosa of Suor Orsola Benincasa on the hill of San Martino, and the Villa Pignatelli.

The component parts of the serial property are: the Historical Centre of Naples; the District of Villa Manzo, Santa Maria della Consolazione; Marechiaro ; the District of Casale ; the District of Santo Strato  and the Villa Emma . 

Criterion (ii): The city’s setting on the Bay of Naples gives it an Outstanding Universal Value which has had a profound influence in many parts of Europe and beyond. Naples has exerted great influence on the rest of Europe ever since the antiquity, as a major centre in Magna Graecia and of the Roman Republic. Its role as one of the most influential cultural centres in the Mediterranean region was reconfirmed in the Middle Ages and again from the 16th to 18th centuries, being one of the major European capitals, and exerting important influences in many cultural fields, especially related to art and architecture.

Criterion (iv): Naples is one of the most ancient cities in Europe, whose contemporary urban fabric preserves the elements of its long and eventful history. The rectangular grid layout of the ancient Greek foundation of Neapolis is still discernible and has indeed continued to provide the basic form for the present-day urban fabric of the Historic Centre of Naples, one of the foremost Mediterranean port cities. From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, Naples was a focal point in terms of art and architecture, expressed in its ancient forts, the royal ensembles such as the Royal Palace of 1600, and the palaces and churches sponsored by the noble families. 

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Naples (Italian: Napoli; Neapolitan: Napule) in Italy, an ancient port on the Mediterranean sea. With just short of a million citizens, is the third most populous municipality. Metropolitan Naples is Italy’s second most populous metropolitan area. exchange between cultures. This is reflected in the city’s structure and monuments, which are a mixture of Greek, Roman, Norman, Angevin, Spanish and French architecture. The UNESCO evaluation committee described Naples’ historic centre – the largest in Europe – as being “of exceptional value”, and went on to say that Naples’ setting on its Bay “gives it an outstanding universal value which has had a profound influence”. But Italians have known these things for centuries: The view of Naples from the sea is so beautiful that a traditional Italian saying states that once you’ve seen it, you can die. As a testimony to its extraordinary history, the Naples region hosts an unparalleled concentration of UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Center of Naples itself; the Roman archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Cumae, Pozzuoli, Oplontis and Stabiae; the Royal Palace of Caserta; the royal site of San Leucio and the Aqueduct of Vanvitelli [read more].

Salerno (Neapolitan: Salièrno) is a city in Campania, Italy. Salerno is the principal town of the province with the same name, and has around 133,000 inhabitants (2014). For a brief period (February to August 1944) Salerno was the capital city of Italy, during the liberation after the allied landings before the fall of Monte Cassino to the allies and the subsequent liberation of Rome. Today it is a lively port town, that is rapidly re-acquiring a relaxing and open Mediterranean atmosphere. The port area is not particularly attractive, but once you get onto the promenade things get better. Worth a visit also is the Historical Old Town, which has recovered from being a virtual no-go area to being a well-preserved historical town centers, full of tiny little passageways and hidden corners. Salerno was the birthplace of the “Schola Medica Salernitana” in the 9th century, which was the most important source of medical information in Europe at the time, and provided an important impulse to medical learning in Europe [read more].

Rome (Italian and Latin: Roma), the ‘Eternal City’, is the capital and largest city of Italy and of the Lazio (Latium) region. It’s the famed city of the Roman Empire, the Seven Hills, La Dolce Vita (sweet life), the Vatican City and Three Coins in the Fountain. Rome, as a millennium-long centre of power, culture and religion, having been the centre of one of the globe’s greatest civilizations ever, has exerted a huge influence over the world in its circa 2500 years of existence. The historic centre of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With wonderful palaces, millennium-old churches and basilicas, grand romantic ruins, opulent monuments, ornate statues and graceful fountains, Rome has an immensely rich historical heritage and cosmopolitan atmosphere, making it one of Europe’s and the world’s most visited, famous, influential and beautiful capitals. Today, Rome has a growing nightlife scene and is also seen as a shopping heaven, being regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world (some of Italy’s oldest jewellery and clothing establishments were founded in the city) [read more].

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