TOWN-PLANNING UNDER FERDINAND II

Under Ferdinand II of Bourbon -1830/1859- urban development took place in Naples.

The King drew up a program aimed at integrating the old city core with new areas of expansion outside the walls, characterized by a series of traffic connections, which are essential for the creation of new districts. The main areas of expansion were to the east, a swampy place for industrial expansion and housing workers. The western area was a preferred place for its beautiful landscapes, and its noble and bourgeois residence houses.

The need to restructure Naples coincided with the ideals of embellishment and decoration launched in the major European capitals. Since 1840 there was the rearranging of Via Foria, the reconstruction of Via Toledo, and the building of Via Duomo.

The road structure around the old center of the capital became shaped and materialized.

Besides the works already mentioned there was the pavement of Arenaccia Street that led to a quick connection with the coast and it also connected by a road axis east-west the Marina Street to Poggioreale Street.

In 1853 Ferdinand II decided to build a new road that would connect the west with the east of the city, turning around the top of the hill San Martino until reaching Chiaia district.

The rather articulated road was divided into the three parts, and realized in different times.

The part from Mergellina to Suor Orsola was completed around 1860, from Suor Orsola to Piazza Mazzini in 1873 – and finally, the third trunk never realized had to lead up to Capodimonte. In 1853, the route was inaugurated, offering citizens the most beautiful gallery in the world, a road whose exceptional panoramic appearance was admired.

 Maria Theresa Alley

Maria Theresa Alley

For the opening of the road, built by temporary works in less than two months , 1000 workers were employed and six wood bridges to overcome the uneven terrain were built. The landscape protection plan was particularly interesting and cared about.

Along Maria Theresa Alley was forbidden to construct buildings, walls and buildings that blocked the view to the capital. For the final arrangement of the road it was necessary to wait several years,. The route was modified several times, due to construction techniques necessiries.

The square-spot before the church of Piedigrotta became very important as it was the most representative place along the new road. The engineers decided to create a large square in front of the church.

By the arrangement of the square, the paving of the ramps of St. Anthony in Posillipo was started and the route was made easier by the addition of numerous street uphill bends leading to the monastery of St. Anthony.

After the construction of the first Italian railway linking from Naples to Portici, Ferdinand II decided to plan a new road linking connecting Via Marinella to Capuana Gate. The idea about ​​this alley is in tune with the nineteen century European town-planning schemes in connection with railway construction and acquisition of new land bourgeois house building, near ancient walls and moats which no longer had any reason to exist.

So a project is approved, subsequently amended by the king himself, which provided a regulation track at low cost, and the possibility to take advantage of large areas for buildings construction. On the basis of such instructions, works began in Via dei Fossi that ended after 1860.

Some points were eliminated during construction as:

– A semi-elliptical Square at the corner on Via Marina.

– Construction of the Church of Good Counsel at the Capuana Gate.

The construction of the church of Saints Cosmas and Damian was completed, whose project was revised several times due to the high building costs. Instead of having a Latin cross plan with three naves and neoclassical decoration, it was built a church with a longitudinal plan by a single nave with a semicircular apse smaller than the initial project one.

The new church of Saints Cosmas and Damian was opened to the public in 1851, and was again modified in the 900s.

Toledo Street:

In 1848 there was the arrangement of Toledo Street with the correction of the road plan. The long road stretch is divided into 4 parts. The work proceeded rapidly in the first phase, afterwards they suffered a series of interruptions due to technical unexpected problems. The final completion will be reached around 1860.

Different solutions were studied to make Toledo Street as linear as possible, creating widenings along the route. At first following the explicit will of the sovereign the road axis was made to reach the National Museum. In 1858 the Carità square-spot was built: a square with a monument to San Gaetano.

Carità square-spot

Carità square-spot

The peculiarity of the Square and then all of Toledo Street was the lighting, whose crystal globes had been purchased abroad. The planning engineers faced for the first time the problem of rectification, the road section with a non-regular plan, caused problems to the carriages traffic, and in some places it still had the remains of Aragon walls.

Important is the solution and the channeling of waste water by building several secondary channels flowing into the middle sewer, already built during the Spanish Vice-kingdom.

This arrangement allowed the water to flow off till the Palace square running under the church of San Francesco of Paola and flowing into the sea near Piazza Vittoria. In addition to the sewage problem the water supply problem was solved, by the construction of canals that carried water into town from the Carmignano area.

For the maintenance of the buildings along the road the Precepts of Art were adopted, and in 1851 rules for the decor of Toledo Street were issued. Among these standards interesting is the one concerning the shop signs, “the shops signs of each building, as to its form, color and writing letters have to be the same or similar to each otrher.”

Duomo Street:

in 1839 there was the preparation of a new road project, which crossing the ancient town core, should connect the north area with the southern part of the city.

The new route had a number of squares corresponding to the decumani and main roads, according to a typically nineteenth century logic. There was the widening of a series of narrow streets crossing the ancient city core, from the north to the seaside part of town.

The construction of the road which was to lead to the cathedral will be approved by the king, who ordered the expansion from the rear of the San Severo Church. Ferdinand II pointed out the construction of the Cathedral and the road passing behind the cathedral, this one had to be particularly broad in magnificence and was to be called after Ferdinand, what never happened.

In 1863 works began on the construction of the road, but the necessary demolitions began only in 1860 with the expropriation of ecclesiastical housings.

From the documents, in the case Duomo Street, corrections and directions by the Bourbon king emerge, processed in planning and designing and during works progress , but as usual, difficulties of working about some church properties came up, affecting the final order of execution.

Ferdinando II

Ferdinando II

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