Royal Palace, Naples

Royal Palace, Naples (must see)

The Royal Palace is located opposite the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola on the Piazza Plebiscito. It was used as a residence by the Bourbon kings who ruled Naples between 1730 and 1860.

The palace is on the site of an earlier residence, which had housed the former viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca. Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. It was intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on his visit to this part of his kingdom. However the visit never materialized. Instead the palace initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos.

In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. It was greatly expanded and embellished during the reign of King Ferdinand II. The most recent refurbishment was after the damage caused to the structure during World War II.

Today the Royal Palace houses the National Library of Naples, several city offices including the tourist office and a small museum. A magnificent double staircase takes visitors up to the former royal apartments with their lavish furniture and furnishings. The Royal Chapel has a large 18th century Nativity scene that is regarded as the building’s art treasure.

The National Library of Naples has an impressive collection of papyrus scrolls found during excavations at Herculaneum and a 5th century Coptic Bible. The western facade of the palace that faces the Piazza Plebiscito has statues of many of the kings from different dynasties that ruled Naples from the 12th century.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Naples. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Royal Palace on Map

Sight Name: Royal Palace
Sight Location: Naples, Italy (See walking tours in Naples)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Naples, Italy

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