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Mysterious Naples: The Prince and the Chapel of Sansevero

Cappella Sansevero and the Veiled Christ are among the most amazing, fascinating and mysterious works that Naples offers. Cappella Sansevero was strongly desired by Raimondo si Sangro, Prince of Sansevero. 

  • Mysterious Naples: The Prince and the Chapel of Sansevero

Visiting Naples for a few days? Cappella Sansevero and the Veiled Christ are among the things not to be missed.

Raimondo di Sangro, VII Prince of Sansevero, was born in 1710 in Torremaggiore in the province of Foggia, from an ancient family whose origins date back to Charlemagne and Cecilia Gaetani of L'Aquila d'Aragona. Orphaned mother a few months after birth, the prince was entrusted to the care of his grandfather Paolo, Prince of Sansevero.

Raimondo di Sangro, the one who wanted Cappella Sansevero, as soon as he was young, was sent to Rome to the Clementine College of the Jesuit Fathers. In that environment his spirit was formed, rebellious to the discipline and acute in the most disparate studies: from literature, to mathematics, to philosophy, to music, to law, to heraldry, to hydraulic engineering and to alchemy.

All you need to know about Cappella Sansevero in Naples, you can find it in our article.

Accessing Cappella Sansevero, today a museum in Naples that bears his name, you can immediately notice that it is a real architectural and artistic wonder and holds among other masterpieces the very famous statue of the "Veiled Christ", passing under a plaque placed by the same Raimondo di Sangro in memory of the works carried out where he warns future visitors to look under the hidden meaning of these works.

"Whoever you are, or wanderer, citizen, provincial or foreigner, enters and devoutly pays homage to the prodigious ancient work: the noble temple consecrated for a long time to the Virgin and majestically amplified by the ardent prince of Sansevero Don Raimondo de Sangro for the glory of the ancestors and to preserve his ashes and those of his own in immortality in the year 1767. Observe with watchful eyes and with veneration the urns of heroes laden with glory and marvelously contemplate the praiseworthy obeisance to the divine work and the sepulchers of the deceased and when made the honors due deeply reflect and turned away ".

chapel of sansevero
Cappella Sansevero and Cristo Velato di Napoli are among the most fascinating and mysterious works that can be seen even in Italy.

His favorite studies of Raimondo di Sangro, however, are always aimed at alchemy, mechanics and science in general. He thus invented various anatomical machines, a hydraulic machine capable of raising water at any height; an eternal lamp, using a chemical preparation that prevents the flame from extinguishing; a carriage with wooden horses that can walk, by land and by sea, thanks to a particular mechanism placed inside it; a typographic machine capable of printing various colors simultaneously with just one press of the press.

The last twenty years of his life the Prince dedicated them all to the sculptural enrichment of Cappella Sansevero and to the Veiled Christ, calling around him the greatest artists of the time entrusting them with the creation of particular works in marble, but not limited to commission the work: he personally chooses the marbles, suggests the technique and the theme for each work and places the position in it. In reality he wants to leave to posterity a message, hermetic and allegorical, in tune with the aura of mystery that has enveloped his existence.

We know well that he had embarked on the initiatory path that led him to become an alchemist who, through the study of the cabal and Hermeticism, had approached the Rosicrucian Order becoming an adept and not by chance was struck by the excommunication issued by Pope Benedict XII 28 May 1751, with the bull "ProvvidaeRomanorumPontificium".
All this cultural trait of the character brings the visitor a magical aura at the entrance to the chapel and the visit of this will not remain absolutely like a normal museum excursion but will remain well impressed in the soul of everyone.

In a fleeting visit to Naples absolutely can not miss the Sansevero Chapel and the Veiled Christ. Follow the tour guide of Il Salotto della Regina to stay up to date on the routes in Naples.
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