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Catacombs di San Gennaro
We had seen some catacombs in Malta year earlier, but these were much bigger. The guide said, it is because the stone there is easy to carve, but strong enough no last long. Of course they were also not as old as the ones in Malta.
You couldn´t go there by yourselves, but we had a good luck. No-one else came to the tour, and we had the personal guide then! We could ask what we want, and he told just that and no need to listen to tens and tens questions we might not be interested. And if there would have been any locals, we might have needed to wait until the Italian report. The tour started every hour (at 10.00 11.00 12.00 13.00 14.00 etc).
I think these catacombs are very interesting, very much worth of visit.
The Catacombs of San Gennaro are underground paleo-Christian burial sites in Naples, Italy.
There has been three different underground cemeteries, witch have come as one later. There is also a small chappel, witch still has some weddings and christenings.
You can take photos without a flash.
- Historical Travel
Catacombs of San Gennaro
The oldest of Naples catacombs - founded in 2nd century AD and it was here that in 5th century San Gennaro´s body was interred.
It is an impressive array of dark halls, remnant of tombs and in some places you can still see the early christian frescoes and mosaics.
The visits are with guides only as a part of a group, there are departures about every hour in the morning. The entry is to the left of Chiesa di Madre di Buon Consiglio, on the Capodimonte.
- Historical Travel
A visit to the San Gennaro Catacombs
The Catacombs are a two-level underground cemetery, dating from the 2nd century and boasting many interesting frescoes and mosaics. You can enter the catacombs on Via di Capodimonte (head down an alley going alongside the Madre del Buon Consiglio Church).
The catacombs were dug from the yellow “tufo” (sandstone) of the Aminei hills in Capodimonte. The monument's original nucleus goes back to the beginning of the second century A.D. It had been a patrician family's ancient tomb and was later donated to the Christian Community. In the next centuries (till the tenth) it was transformed and turned into an official cemetery and a meeting point for the Christian Community. It was progressively enlarged (digging the hill) especially after the fifth century, when the bones of San Gennaro (the fervently loved patron Saint of the town) were transferred here and the Catacombs became a pilgrimage site, attracting a growing number of visits and processions (but now the remains of San Gennaro are in the cathedral “Duomo” of Naples).
The Catacombs’ total extension is of five square kilometers, but only a small part can be visited. A guide will conduce you through tunnels and “cubiculum” decorated with pictorial cycles which are among the most important examples of Southern Italian Paleochristian figurative art. Along with several well-preserved frescoes and mosaics there's a depiction of San Gennaro (ninth century).
The tour takes you through the upper level of tunnels, passing through two basilicas totally carved from the rock. The Catacombs remained active until the 10th century, but several graffitos (dated 1700, 1800) on the rocks show that neapolitans never stopped accessing the tunnels, which, during the world war II, served as air raid shelter.
The Catacombs are not frightful and the tunnels are unexpectedly wide and luminous.
If you plan to go there, it is better to make a phone call asking for an english speaking guide and the exact time of beginning of the visit (lasting about 45 minutes).
Ticket: 5 euro.
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