Doorway of Naples Town Hall
Palazzo San Giacomo is a neoclassical building located at the top of the square of the same name and is the administrative seat of the Municipality of Naples.

 

In 1816 Ferdinand I of Bourbon, king of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, decided to build a large edifice to house all the ministries of the Bourbon state. The true promoter of the initiative was the then prime minister Luigi de’ Medici di Ottajano, who entrusted the task of designing the new building to the architect Stefano Gasse.

 

The insula where the new building was to be built had belonged to the congregation of Spanish nobles who had their headquarters in the church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli. In the same location the congregation also had, in addition to the church, a hospital, a convent and a bank. The works began in 1819 but were not completed until 1825.

 

Stefano Gasse built a high masonry base on the main southern façade
which also included the church of San Giacomo. Once the facade was demolished the church was incorporated into the building, forming one of the three portals of the facade, specifically the third from left (restored by FRIENDS OF NAPLES in 2018). The central door which allows access to the building differs from the others as it is in relief. The decorations of the building are all in neoclassical style.

 

Curiosity
Stefano Gasse, in addition to undertaking the construction of Palazzo San Giacomo and thus of the nineteenth-century facade that currently conceals the basilica of San Giacomo, also built the obelisk of the sundial during the period of the expansion of the Villa Comunale in Naples.
“What do the Town Hall door and the sundial of the Villa Comunale have in common?

 

“The architect Stefano Gasse and Friends of Naples who want to restore them!”

 

Who was Stefano Gasse?
Stefano Gasse (Naples, 8 August 1778 – Naples, 21 February 1840) was an Italian architect and urban planner of French origin. He is counted amongst the major exponents of neoclassical architecture of early nineteenth century Naples.
Coming from a poor family of French origin who ran an inn in Saint Lucia, he completed his studies at the Académie d’Architecture in Paris, together with his brother. In May 1806 Stefano and Luigi Gasse returned to Naples and began work, thanks to the accession to the throne of Giuseppe Bonaparte who started a rigorous building renovation program in the capital of the Kingdom.
After the Restoration and return of the Bourbons to Naples an ambitious plan was devised, namely that of bringing together the various ministries who until then had been in different locations throughout the city, into a single building. The minister Luigi de’ Medici di Ottajano commissioned the architects Antonio De Simone, Vincenzo Buonocore and Gasse, assisted by his brother Luigi, to design a new palace within the insula of San Giacomo. At the time of the completion of the works, the building was one of the largest in Europe, with 816 rooms, 10 corridors and with the first iron and glass gallery in Italy.
Another construction in the city attributed to Stefano Gasse is the Meridian Sundial Obelisk – one of about thirty antique sundials in Naples. Placed in the Villa Comunale during the period of the expansion of the eighteenth-century garden, the obelisk is about 10 meters high and is made entirely of volcanic piperno. It stands out for its great artistic and technical simplicity.
Time of realisation
4 months
Collection target
24.000 €
Collaborations and partnerships
DAFNE Restauri, Home Decoration, Del Core Restyling
GALLERY