Naples: Life, Death & Miracles  © 2002-2017       contact:     Jeff Matthews  
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Gravina (palazzo)

One of the most impressive examples of Renaissance architecture in Naples is the Palazzo Orsini di Gravina, located 100 yards north of the main post-office and directly across the street from the statue of the last Hapsburg King of Spain, Charles II (known as "Il Reuccio"the Little King). The original building was  erected between 1513 and 1549 by Gabriele d’Angelo along lines dictated by the Florentine Renaissance. It was commissioned by and named for Ferdinando Orsini, Duke of Gravina.  Much of the external decorative masonry was destroyed in a fire in 1848. Restoration, however, respected the original Renaissance ideas of the designer. There are niches in the facade, each containing a bust of a member of the Orsini family. They are 19th century copies of the original 16th century works of Vittorio Ghiberti. Since 1936 Palazzo Gravina has housed the Architecture Department of the University of Naples (click here).

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