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Cathedral of San Gennaro

Although dating back to the late 13th century, the cathedral has been altered considerably due to earthquakes and restoration, especially after the one of 1456, but the 1407 doorway in the center of the front has survived. In the south aisle is the sumptuous 17th-century chapel of San Gennaro, patron saint of Naples. On its main altar, a silver bust contains the skull of the saint, who was martyred in 305, in the time of Diocletian. In the tabernacle are two vessels containing the saint's blood, which is believed to have the power of liquefaction, celebrated with solemn ceremonies in the cathedral each September 19. You can see the saint's tomb in the richly decorated Confessio (1497-1506) under the high altar, and in the underground archeological area, you can see the 4th-century Basilica Santa Restituta, the oldest church in Naples, with excellent ceiling frescoes and columns from a Roman temple.

The Archbishop's Palace and several other churches surround the cathedral, among them the Gothic Santa Maria Donnaregina (fine 14th-century frescoes by Giotto's contemporary Pietro Cavallini in the elevated nuns' choir); the Baroque churches of San Filippo Neri and San Paolo Maggiore; and the restored Gothic church of San Lorenzo Maggiore (1266-1324), with the fine tomb of Caterina d'Austria (d. 1323) and an adjoining Franciscan monastery with a cloister and a chapter-house decorated with frescoes.

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