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Exploring the Stunning Santa Chiara Cloister in Naples

Visiting Naples’ Beautiful Cloister of Santa Chiara


Visiting Naples’ Beautiful Cloister of Santa Chiara

If you are one the hunt for beauty in Naples Italy, we recommend visiting the Cloister of Santa Chiara, the Chiostro di Santa Chiara. It’s a serene oasis where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

The cloister is filled with covered arcades and gardens. It’s adorned with lovely frescos and vibrant majolica tiles. That all makes it one of the most photographed must see spots in Naples.

A Short History of the Cloister of Santa Chiara

The Cloister of Santa Chiara dates back to the 14th century. It was commissioned by King Robert of Anjou and his wife, Queen Sancha of Majorca. It was part of the construction of the adjacent Santa Chiara Church and monastery for the Franciscan order.

The construction of the cloister began in 1310 and was completed in the early 1340s. It was originally designed in the Gothic style. The cloister served as a central gathering space for the nuns of the Order of Poor Clares.

Over the centuries, the cloister underwent several renovations. In 1742, Antonio Vaccario transformed the original medieval architecture with the addition of beautiful majolica tiles.

What To See At The Cloister Of Santa Chiara

Here are the things you can expect to see on a visit to the Cloister of Santa Chiara.

Architecture

The cloister features a unique blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles. It was built in the 14th century and underwent several renovations and additions over the years.

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The cloister consists of an open courtyard surrounded by elegant columns. The columns are made of white marble. They are simple unadorned, in keeping with the harmony of a cloister.

The pointy arches between the columns create a harmonious arcade, providing a serene and peaceful atmosphere within the cloister.

Frescos

The Cloister of Santa Chiara is decorated with a series of beautiful medieval frescos.

They depict various Franciscan stories from the life of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. Clare was a follower of St. Francis and the founder of the Order of Poor Ladies, also known as the Poor Clares.

The frescoes were created in the 14th century by a group of anonymous artists from the Neapolitan school. They are characterized by their vibrant colors and delicate details, showcasing the artistic style of the time.

The frescos are quite lovely, with vibrant yet delicate hues. They contribute to the peaceful atmosphere of the cloister. Over the years, they have been restored.

Majolica Cloister

The highlight of a visit to Santa Chiara is the Majolica Cloister, also known as the Chiostro delle Maioliche.

It’s famous for its exquisite majolica decorations that are simply visually stunning to behold. They were hand painted between 1742 and 1749 by a group of local artists from Naples, including Donato and Giuseppe Massa.

“Majolica” refers to a type of ceramic tile characterized by a colorful and decorative glaze. The cloister tiles are festooned with floral motifs and depict pastoral country scenes. The secular themes were intended to allow the nuns who lived in seclusion to see what life was like outside the cloister.

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The scenes often feature decorative borders and motifs that enhance the overall aesthetic appeal.

Tips For Visiting The Cloister of Santa Chiara

Address: Via Santa Chiara

Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:45 pm & 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm. On Sunday, the hours are the same, except that the cloister opens one hour later at 9:00 am.

Tickets: Tickets are 6 euros. The Cloister of Santa Chiara is also included in the Naples Pass. You can also book a private walking tour of Naples that includes the cloister.

Dress Code: As the cloister is part of a religious site, it’s advisable to dress modestly out of respect. Try to wear appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

What To Do Near The Cloister

There are many other attractions near the cloister that you can combine in a visit to this area.

The Gesu Nuovo Church is a Baroque wonder just around the corner. Piazza Bellini and Piazza Dante are nearby, as is the Spanish Quarter.

And of course, you can walk through the UNESCO-listed Spaccanapoli, the main drag in the historic center. It’s lined with narrow, winding streets, traditional buildings, and charming shops, which all create an atmosphere that reflects the authentic character of Naples.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to Naples’ magnificent Chiostro di Santa Chiara. You may enjoy these other Italy travel guides and resources:

If you’d like to visit the Cloister of Santa Chiara, pin it for later.

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Final Thoughts

The Cloister of Santa Chiara is a must-visit attraction in Naples, Italy. It offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere with its beautiful architecture, frescoes, and majolica tiles. There is also the nearby Church of Santa Chiara and Museo dell’Opera di Santa Chiara to explore. With its rich history and stunning beauty, the Cloister of Santa Chiara is a hidden gem in Naples that should not be missed.

FAQs

Q: Can I take photos in the Cloister of Santa Chiara?

A: Yes, you are allowed to take photos in the Cloister of Santa Chiara. However, please be respectful of the religious site and other visitors.

Q: How long does a visit to the Cloister of Santa Chiara take?

A: A visit to the Cloister of Santa Chiara typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on how much time you spend exploring the different areas and exhibits.

Q: Is there an entrance fee for the Cloister of Santa Chiara?

A: Yes, there is an entrance fee of 6 euros for the Cloister of Santa Chiara. However, the cloister is also included in the Naples Pass, which offers discounted access to multiple attractions in Naples.

Q: Are there any dress code requirements to visit the Cloister of Santa Chiara?

A: As the cloister is part of a religious site, it is recommended to dress modestly out of respect. It is advised to wear appropriate clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.



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