Santa Maria del Purgatorio ad Arco


Santa Maria del Purgatorio ad Arco review Rate it

The three bronze skulls on the railings (a fourth was stolen in the 1950s), and its popular name, cap'e morte ('death's head'), are clues to why this 17th-century church has such a hold on Neapolitans. This was the centre of a death cult, in which people would adopt and look after the cache of skulls in the hypogeum (underground chamber). Inside, a winged skull and crossbones overlook the altar, and there are several Baroque paintings, including a circular Madonna and Child that some experts attribute to Giotto. Underneath the church, the hypogeum still contains a pile of venerated bones.

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Santa Maria del Purgatorio ad Arco details

Via dei Tribunali 39

Area Naples

Transport Metro Dante or Montesanto/bus C57, R2

Telephone 081 551 0547, 081 446810 hypogeum

Open Church 9am-1pm Mon-Sat. Hypogeum 10am-1pm Sat, or by appointment.

Admission Church free. Hypogeum €2

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