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San Gregorio Armeno (1)
via S. Gregorio Armeno
The church/monastery of San Gregorio Armeno is in the heart of the historic center of Naples and has given its name to the street on which it is situated. In common parlance, that street is referred to as the street of the figurari, in reference to those who craft the popular figures and sets used in the typical Neapolitan Christmas manger scene, the presepe. The street is marked by the tower of the church belfry that actually spans the street, itself (see photo). It is from the 1700s and was built onto an earlier walkway above the street.
The church was founded
shortly after the iconoclast decrees of the eighth
century caused a number of religious orders to flee
the Byzantine empire and seek refuge elsewhere.
Those dedicated to Gregory, bishop of Armenia
(257-332), founded their place of worship in Naples
on the site of an older Roman temple of Ceres.
In 1025 it was joined with two other adjacent
chapels into a single complex as a Benedictine
monastic order. [For a separate item on early
Christian churches in Naples, click