Royal Palace (Naples)


Royal Palace (Naples)

The Royal Palace is a palace in Naples, southern Italy. It is one of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860): one is in Caserta, another on the Capodimonte hill overlooking Naples, and the third (now the site of the agricultural department of the University of Naples) is in Portici on the slopes of Vesuvius.

The Royal Palace is on the site of an earlier building meant to host King Philip III of Spain, who however never made the trip. The architect chosen for that palace was Domenico Fontana. The building was put up on the site of an even older Spanish viceroyal residence from the early 16th century. The royal residence was moved to Caserta in the 18th century, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault than Naples.

The 17th century palace visible today is, however, the result of numerous additions and changes, including some by Luigi Vanvitelli in the mid-18th century and then by Gaetano Genovese in 1838 after a fire had damaged much of the palace. Additionally, restoration was done after World War II to repair bomb damage. The western façade side of the building (fronting on Piazza del Plebiscito) displays a series of statues of the rulers of dynasties to rule Naples since the foundation of the Kingdom of Naples in the twelfth century. They are: Roger II, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, Charles of Anjou, Alfonse of Aragon, Emperor Charles V, Charles III of Bourbon, Joachim Murat, and Victor Emanuel II of Savoy, the first king of united Italy.

Today the palace and adjacent grounds house the San Carlo Theater, a museum, the National Library of Naples and a number of city offices, including those of the regional tourist board.


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