The Royal Palace of Naples is one of the four residences used by the royal family of the Bourbons of Naples during the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies; the other three are the royal palace of Capodimonte located north of the old town, the Royal Palace of Caserta and the Royal Palace of Portici on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Of considerable size, the palace overlooking majestic monumental area of Piazza del Plebiscito and surrounded by other important and impressive buildings such as the Palazzo Salerno, the Basilica of St. Francis of Paola and the Prefecture.
Throughout its history, the building became the residence of the Spanish viceroys, then those of Austria and, subsequently, of the kings of Bourbon. After the unification of Italy was named Neapolitan residence of the rulers of the House of Savoy.
The palace was built as the viceregal palace in the seventeenth century by Domenico Fontana on commission of the then Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, Count of Lemos VI
It was supposed to host King Philip III of Spain, expected to Naples with his wife for an official visit that never happened. The building was to have the breath of a great European palace, worthy of the second city of Spain after Madrid, and the administrative capital of the first population.
The coats of arms
The palace was built in the same place in which he insisted another vice-regal residence, built fifty years ago by the Viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo. The decision to build the new palace in the same area where there was the “old” therefore testifies to the importance that had that area of town, which guaranteed a certain proximity to the port and then a certain ease of escape in case of enemy invasion.
The Royal Palace seen from the sea
Work on the erection of the building went slowly until 1610, when he became viceroy Pedro Fernández de Castro, son of Fernando Ruiz, and VII Count of Lemos. In 1616 they were completed the main facade of “Palazzo off”, and the courtyard. Around 1620 they were also completed some interior of the building, painted by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci and Belisario Corenzio and the royal chapel of the Assumption, where he worked twenty-four years after Antonio Picchiatti performing some decorative elements.
In 1734, with the rule of Charles of Bourbon, the palace became a royal residence Bourbon. The new king of Naples, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony occurred in 1738, did renovate some indoor calling artists like Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro.  In parallel to this work, Charles also strove for ‘construction of three more important holds: that of Capodimonte, Portici and that of Caserta. The modernization started in those years were then taken up more intensely by his son Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, who in 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, became the great hall of the period in the viceregal court theater. To accomplish this work was again Ferdinando Fuga. Finally, during the first half of the eighteenth century, it was made the part towards the sea.
In the second half of the eighteenth century it was built the so-called “new arm”, or the wing of the building that gives to the Angevin, which became in 1927 the National Library Vittorio Emanuele III.
During the years 1806-1815 was enhanced by Gioacchino Murat and Carolina Bonaparte with neoclassical furniture and decorations from the Tuileries; It was damaged by fire in 1837 and restored from 1838 to 1858 at the hands of Gaetano Genovese who enlarged and regularized, without distorting it, the old factory. In that period they were added to the structure ” Ala feasts “and a new facade overlooking the sea, characterized by a rusticated basement and a tower-belvedere. At the corner of the Teatro San Carlo it was instead created a small place in front of the Old Palace of Don Pedro de Toledo.
With Genovese, the palace was able to say definitively completed.
In 1888, at the behest of Umberto I, the external niches were occupied by giant statues of the kings of Naples: Roger the Norman, Frederick II of Swabia, Charles I of Anjou, Alfonso I of Aragon, Charles V, Charles III of Bourbon, Gioacchino Murat and Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy.
In 1922 it was decided (by decree of the Minister Anile) transferring the National Library (until then the building of the Museum); the transfer of library was performed by 1925.
The bombing during the Second World War and the subsequent military occupation caused serious damage to the building that necessitated a restoration conducted by the Superintendent of Monuments.
Facade of the building
The front porch standing with two rows of windows is 169 meters long, in its center are the obvious royal crests and Viceregal. It retains the original classical forms, with the exception of those of the porch, where in the second half of the eighteenth century, through the work of Vanvitelli, the gates were closed alternately to increase the solidity of the building, creating arches closed in niches.
Later, with the restoration of the nineteenth century, they were added to both ends of the front two blind arches topped by a terrace.
Statues of the kings of Naples
King Umberto I of Savoy, in 1888, did make changes to the facade of the building which allowed the opening arc of different niches in which were placed the statues of the founders of the dynasties of kings who reigned over Naples.
The statues are displayed in chronological order with respect to the dynasty of belonging that has reigned in the city, and these begin with the first king of Sicily, Roger the Norman, the first king to reign over the town, and end up with Vittorio Emanuele II, the largest in height and more discussed this sculpture in front of the royal residence, adding to last under the will of the king but was never king of Naples, but in Italy. Note also the presumed will of the Savoy to conceal the Bourbon dynasty, one of the most influential of the city of Naples, the city’s history. In fact, none of the statues took on the facade of the building, is a Bourbon king, and the only one that apparently would seem to belong to this dynasty, Charles of Bourbon, is actually engraved with the name of Charles III, leaving allude to the Spanish dynasty and not Neapolitan, which instead took on the title of Charles VII of Bourbon.
The sequence of the statues, starting from the left of the facade of the building is: Roger the Norman (statue sculpted by Emilio Franceschi), Frederick II (by Emanuele Caggiano), Charles I of Anjou (Thomas Solari), Alfonso V of Aragon (Achille D’Orsi), Charles V (Vincenzo Moan), Charles III of Spain (Raffaele Belliazzi), Joachim Murat (Giovanni Battista Amendola) and finally Vittorio Emanuele II (the latter work performed by Francesco Jerace).
Entered the building also gives access to the Court of Honour that preserves the architectural imprint of Domenico Fontana. Faced with the same courtyard, there is a nineteenth-century fountain with the statue of Fortuna.
From left of the eastern side of the courtyard of Honor, you come to the courtyard of the carriages, used precisely the passage of the same and in which there is also the namesake fountain, and the courtyard of the belvedere. Another courtyard is located at the entrance side of the building just opposite the Galleria Umberto I. The aforementioned space houses the sculpture Italy turreted and Starry Francesco Liberti and the nearby garden is the garden of Italy, made by Gaetano Genovese between 1838 and 1840.
Other gardens, hanging gardens, are located on the first floor and offer a wonderful view of the port of Naples and Mount Vesuvius.
Finally, always starting from the courtyard of Honor, on the left side leads to the apartment real, through the sumptuous grand staircase, and the royal gardens.
Angevin seen from the royal gardens. Also note the equestrian statues of the Grooms
The area of the Gardens has been converted to green since the thirteenth century to the time of the Angevin dynasty.
In the period of the viceroys it was instead placed in park and enriched with statues, avenues and “secret gardens”.
In the mid-nineteenth century the architect Gaetano Genovese led the work of expansion and restoration of the building, and entrusted to the care of the botanical gardens Federico Corrado Denhart, which he inserted many magnolias, oaks and rare plants such as the Persea indica, Strelitzia Niccolai, the Sago. So it was that the garden acquired a new aspect “English” and became a popular destination for visitors.
Transformations nineteenth century we must also insert an iron gate to lance a golden point that introduces a path bordered by the statues of the Grooms, donated by Tsar Nicholas I and more known by the name of the Bronze Horses, and also another garden Small: The Garden of Italy, on Piazza Trieste e Trento, which is decorated with camellias and “palms of San Pietro” and submit to center Italy, marble sculpture by Francesco Liberti.
In the bottom of the gardens there are the Scuderie XIX Century, flanked by the handling of the eighties of the century and currently engaged and exhibition.
The staircase inside
You enter the apartment to the historic and monumental bright staircase of honor that was designed in 1651 by Francesco Antonio Picchiatti and subsequently arranged and decorated by Gaetano Genovese between 1838 and 1858. The staircase is decorated with white and rose marbles, from military trophies and allegorical bas-reliefs. The remarkable rich marble balustrade pierced.
In the upper area there are monumental plaster statues that represent Fortitude, Justice, Mercy and Prudence. At the end of the staircase leads to the bright Ambulacro, surrounded by windows nineteenth century. Elegant stucco decorate the vaults of the corridors.
Porch on the second floor
Within the halls of the palace are paintings of important artists who worked in Naples Bourbon. They distinguish the works executed by Guercino, Andrea Vaccaro, by Mattia Preti, by Spagnoletto, from Titian by Massimo Stanzione, by Francesco De Mura, from Battistello Caracciolo and Luca Giordano. Finally, there are paintings of landscapes and Nicola Filippo Palizzi and Consalvo Carelli.
It is a museum under the name House Historical since 1919. During the visit you can see the actual rooms of the label Piano nobile, which have not undergone any change.
In the seventies of the twentieth century some rooms have been used in the gallery of works of art and sorted according to a thematic and historical-style.
The rooms and furnishings used more every day, there are no joints, to severe damage and dispossession suffered by the building during the last war. It also damaged the wallpaper Bourbon, redone in the mid-twentieth century on the same frames of ancient Seterie Borboniche the Fabbrica di San Leucio in Caserta. The most important remains of the seventeenth-century decoration of origin are the frescoes of historical subject of late-mannerist gracing the oldest rooms with cycles of paintings intended to extol the glory and fortune of the Spanish conquerors.
The royal apartment has thirty rooms that follow each other in succession.
Room I: Theatre of court
Set up by Ferdinando Fuga in 1768, although it was badly damaged in the last war (the time of the mid-twentieth century, sees disappearing the eighteenth century frescoes by Antonio Dominici), it retains the original twelve statues in papier mache and plaster depicting the sculptor Angelo Viva Apollo, Minerva, Mercury and the nine Muses. The Theatre hosted performances of the works of Paisiello and Cimarosa.
You pass in the next room through two of the more than fifty wooden doors painted by an unknown ornamentista lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, on a gold and decorated with elegant fantastic grounds, plants and animals, of Pompeian taste.
Room II: Diplomatic Room
In the second room, also called the antechamber of His Majesty met the result of diplomatic delegations received in the Throne Room. On the vault there is the cycle of frescoes by Francesco De Mura representing the allegory of the virtues of Charles of Bourbon and Maria Amalia of Saxony.
The room, hung with red lampas, is enriched by majestic neo-baroque furniture, while the walls are two Gobelins tapestries of the series of allegories of the elements: Fire and Air, fabrics Louis La Tour cartoons by Charles Le Brun for the celebration of the power of King Louis XIV of France.
Room III: Saletta Neoclassical
At the center of the room there is a nymph Winged G. De Crescenzo, while the walls two important documents concerning the Royal Palace: the staircase of the Royal Palace of Antonio Dominici and the Royal Chapel of Elijah Interguglielmi, paintings for the wedding by proxy of the princesses Maria Teresa and Maria Luisa of Bourbon took place in 1790 with the Austrian cousins Francis II of Habsburg and Ferdinand III of Lorraine.
Room IV: Second Anticamera Her Majesty or Splendour of Alfonso the Magnanimous
Second antechamber of Her Majesty
Belisario Corenzio, helped by collaborators in his workshop, he painted on the ceiling of the second antechamber fresco depicting the Splendour of Alfonso the Magnanimous (1622), founder of the kingdom of Aragon in Naples.
The various compartments, each with a caption in Spanish, depict: in the center, Investiture real Alfonso; followed by, clockwise, Alfonso of Aragon enters Naples; Cure for the arts and letters; Submission of the city of Genoa; Delivery to Alfonso order of the Golden Fleece. On the walls two paintings by Massimo Stanzione, including San Pietro Sant’Aspreno consecrated the first Bishop of Naples.
In the room there are also vases of Chinese manufacture and clocks eighteenth century by Pierre Philippe Thomire, brought to Naples during the Murat.
Room V: Third anteroom
On the central wall of the hall a tapestry with the Rape of Proserpina by Pietro Duranti testifies to the activities of the Royal Tapestry Factory of Naples.
The ceiling has a fresco of 1818 by Giuseppe Cammarano, depicting Minerva crowning Fidelity.
The throne room
Room VI: Throne Room
It is the place of authority in which the king received all its guests. The throne of gilded wood, with lions Empire under the armrests, can be dated around 1850, while the canopy dates back to the eighteenth century.
On the walls are portraits of real people, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, including the Ferdinand I of Vincenzo Camuccini. On the ceiling of 1818 instead there are personifications of the twelve provinces of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with coats of arms and insignia of the kingdom, by Antonio De Simone (1818).
Room VII: Passetto the General
In Room VII there is a cycle of paintings representing the Biblical stories of Judith Thomas de Vivo.
There is also a table music in Sorrento inlayed 1859.
Room VIII: Ambassadors’ Hall
The old gallery dates back to the third decade of the seventeenth century. The vault retains one of the oldest frescoes of the palace, the splendor of the House of Spain in fourteen panels, by Belisario Corenzio, Onofrio and Andrea de Lyon. The cycle of Marianna of Austria of the fifth decade of the seventeenth century, presents the corners the arms of the Habsburgs, and is the work of Massimo Stanzione.
The furniture dates from the early nineteenth century, with tapestries on the walls of the French school. Finally, notable is the painting by Artemisia Gentileschi the Annunciation dated 1631.
Room IX / X: Hall of Maria Cristina di Savoia
A room of the building in the foreground a rotating lectern
Sala IX, which was previously called the Hall of Ministers, was then named in memory of the Queen of Naples, first wife of Ferdinand II, who died in 1836 after giving birth to the future King Francis II and beatified by the lofty virtues of Christian .
Among the paintings, The Massacre of the Innocents (1738) by Andrea Vaccaro and to Calvary attributed to Decio Tramontano, two large pots of Sevres of 1820 represent about The Seasons.
Sala X is the private chapel of Maria Cristina and, on the walls, presents five paintings on the Nativity of Francesco Liani. Behind the altar, the copper sarcophagus containing the remains of Maria Cristina.
From this room you go out on the Roof Garden, also called Loggia or Belvedere, built in the second half of the seventeenth century, it is today in the nineteenth-century architect Genovese accommodation, decorated with fountains, flower beds and in the middle, a marble table and benches neoclassical. Before then Ferdinando Carlo of Bourbon had their room that overlooked the garden.
In the nineteenth century the garden access was allowed by the current Hall XX also directly through a cast iron bridge, which was destroyed by bombing during the war; the Roof Garden is still possible to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Gulf of Naples, from Vesuvius to the Sorrento peninsula to Capri.
Room XI: Hall of the Great Captain
The ceiling of this room represents one of the most valuable remaining of the original decoration of the seventeenth-century palace. It was painted by Battistello Caracciolo in the first half of the seventeenth century and depicts the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples made in 1502 by Consalvo of Cordoba, the first Spanish viceroy of Naples, said the Great Captain.
Room XII: Hall of Flemish
It is named after the seventeenth-century Dutch portraits from the Gallery of Palazzo Reale Francavilla to Chiaia and bought in Rome by Ferdinand IV of Bourbon in 1802. On the console Murat is a place of rare musical clock Charles Clay, coming from London and back to 1730 with chimes and moving figures. At the center of the room there is a planter with a bird cage attached to the Manufacture of Gorbunovo Popov in Moscow, donated by Tsar Nicholas I to Ferdinand II during his trip to Naples in 1846.
The ceiling bears coats of arms of the provinces of the Kingdom and a fresco of G. Maldarelli: The Magnanimity of Tancred Costanza of Aragon to his prisoner.
Room XIII: Studio King
The study of the king is the time of Joachim Murat. The furniture style Empire were worked in Paris between 1809 and 1811 just dall’ebanista Adam Weisweiler. Landscapes on the walls of the Neapolitan School of Posillipo, once on a tempera on plaster G. Cammarano 1840: Alfonso of Calabria Free Otranto by the Turks.
Room XIV: Hall of the seventeenth century Neapolitan
Already Sala della Regina, is the first of a series of rooms decorated in ‘700 to form the apartment of Maria Amalia of Saxony, wife of Charles III of Bourbon; in this hall are paintings of the seventeenth century Neapolitan. Andrea Vaccaro are The tale of Orpheus charming the animals and the meeting of Rachel and Jacob, while the Ribera is the painting Holy Family with Saints (1623-1625).
Extraordinary ceiling with special decoration “ramages” of white stucco and gold rococo style dating from the eighteenth century. At the center is a table with semiprecious stones committed against a background of porphyry of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, a gift of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II to Ferdinand I of Bourbon.
Room XV: Hall of Landscape Painting
In the room are painted landscapes from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century; a central table in inlaid marble, donated by Baron Manganelli to Ferdinand II in 1830. The ceiling and the mirrors back to the time of Charles of Bourbon. A. De Aloysio Laying the foundation stone of the Church of San Francesco di Paola of 1817.
Room XVI: Sala Luca Giordano
The elegant white-stucco ceiling with gold is the time of Charles of Bourbon; the furniture of neo-rococo and Neapolitan manufacture. Among the paintings, a series of battles to antiquity inspired by Luca Giordano in its early Baroque inspired by Pietro da Cortona.
Room XVII: Room painting of the seventeenth century
From this room it was entered in the ‘600 to the Hall of Viceroy (today Room XII). Among the paintings that depict developments southern and Roman painting of the seventeenth century, the famous Return of the Prodigal Son (1658) of Mattia Preti, the Deposition of Christ by Andrea Vaccaro and the Christ among the doctors of Giovanni Antonio Galli told The Spadarino.
Room XVIII: Hall of Emilian painting
Here they are collected the paintings of the seventeenth century Emilian from Farnese collection, which was inherited by Charles of Bourbon and transported to Naples. Di Bartolomeo Schedoni The Holy Family in the workshop of Saint Joseph and Charity of St. Elizabeth of 1613.
Room XIX: Hall of still lifes
You can see in this room are many examples like that and XVIII century, in Naples, he had great success especially in the seventeenth century, in the wake of the Flemish tradition.
Room XX: Hall of Columns
Already Hall Neoclassical, it is characterized by neoclassical both the environment and in the works on display. On the walls of Tischbein engravings inspired by Greek vases of Lord Hamilton. At the center of the room it is placed a table in patinated bronze and gilded with inlaid marble, which takes the form of objects excavated from Pompeii.
Room XXI: Hall of Mirrors
Neoclassical room with a remarkable a centerpiece of the Napoleonic era and leading to Room XXII.
Room XXII: Salone d’Ercole
The lounge, formerly Viceroy Hall (Ballroom), built in the mid seventeenth century, received a series of portraits of the Viceroys. Today tapestries presents the series of Cupid and Psyche of the Royal Factory of Naples, fabrics Pietro Duranti cartoons by Fedele and Alessandro Fischetti, between 1783 and 1789.
The structure dates back to the last century when it acquired the function of the eighteenth-century ballroom. Also note the clock of Parisian Thuret, active in the first half of the eighteenth century representing Atlas holding up the world.
Room XXIII: back room
On the walls are paintings depicting Francesco Celebrate The Seasons, destined to a campaign site of the Royal Bourbon, perhaps Carditello.
Room XXIV: Hall of Don Quixote
On display are the sketches painted by Neapolitan painters destined to become models for weaving of a great series of tapestries and Factory of Naples, between 1758 and 1779, today at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. The theme is played in the adventures of Don Quixote.
Room XXV: Room painting landscapes Neapolitan nineteenth
In this room are preserved some paintings of Pasquale Mattei representing the parties of the Kingdom: The feast of Santa Rosalia in Palermo in 1855, the fair of San Germano in Abruzzo in 1851, the procession of Corpus Christi in 1858 and Montecassino The procession to the Sanctuary the Madonna of the well at a Capurso Bari 1853.
Salvatore Fergola are some scenery: The forest at sunset and I shipwrecked in the moonlight.
Sale XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII: Frescoes by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro
Among others: The allegory of the marriage union and the Allegory of the Royal Majesty that decorated the little steps on either side of the bedroom of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony.
Small passageway that leads to the dining XXIX. Keep a watercolor by Gaetano Genovese which takes the view of the architectural complex of the Royal Palace and the refurbishing performed after 1937.
XXIX Hall: Hall of bodyguards
There are tapestries Neapolitan: The Air, Earth and Water, tissues after machinery and weavers dall’arazzeria Grand Dukes of Florence, now closed, were transferred to Naples to form the Royal Factory Bourbon.
Room XXX: Royal Chapel
Assunta, was built in the mid-seventeenth century and designed by Cosimo Fanzago and was the center of musical life of Naples in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. It was altered and enriched by Antonio de Simone and Gaetano Genovese.
The National Library
Behind the Royal Palace, there is the National Library Vittorio Emanuele III. The latter, founded in the eighteenth century and until then located at the building of the museum was transferred to the royal residence in the mid-twenties of the twentieth century.