Articoli con tag: Charles of Bourbon


To combat unemployment , in 1746, Charles of Bourbon encouraged the textile industry and favored the settlement of foreign traders and Jews, who found the opposition of the clergy and of the people.

In this context, measures such as the expansion of the port and the arrangement of Marina Street were arranged. An extension of the big pier to the east and the construction of department stores were planned.

The small harbor was closed and there was the construction by Vaccaro of the Immacolatella Building. The walls were torn down towards the sea, and the Mergellina coast and the beginning of Posillipo Street settled.

Naples in the 1800s had all the conditions for being a capitalist town, whose primary need was consumption, although the main source of income was the construction activity only, but this could not give work to everyone, leaving out a very big share of unemployed people.

Under the Bourbon dynasty numerous road networks were completed . But we must say that these were often dictated by the need to improve connections to the Royal residences rather than improve roads for the purposes of trade .

The Royal sites are properties surrounded by a large area reserved for hunting.

Under the reigns of the first two Bourbon Kings residences were newly made by prestigious architects or already existing structures were adapted.

In 1750, following the invitation of King Charles, L.Vanvitelli and F.Fuga arrived in Naples. F. Fuga, in conjunction with the work for the Royal Palace in Caserta, was asked to build a structure that could house all the poor of the kingdom.

The hospice that was to house the poor was built in 1751 outside the Nolana Gate. A first project by Fuga included a square plan with four courtyards, according to the Vanvitelli style of the Royal Palace, but this was rejected. Because of the swampy nature of the ground which would have made the building difficult, the structure was moved to the foot of the hill of Capodimonte, where in previous centuries similar care structures were born.

The hospice would have to emphasize the generosity and affection of the Royal House for the subjects.

Fuga redesigned the hospice adapting to the new ground, proposing a structure with a rectangular base with 5 courtyards. Later two of these were cancelled due to costs reduction.

Even this project wasn’t completed, in spite of the fact in 1764, with works in progress, the structure already housed several people. In 1819, at the final interruption of work, the building housed over 2000 people.



Now the development of the hospice facade is 354m compared to the 600m included in the project. It is also noteworthy that the palace does not have an unfinished look, standing out the practical and functional aspect of the entire structure.

In 1750 Giovanni Carafa, Duke of Noja published, in the form of letters to a friend, the benefits that would have resulted from a precise map of the city of Naples. In this paper the urban problems of the city are analyzed. The need for a development plan stemmed from the lack of public facilities and the continuous increase in population.

The beauty and order as socio-political aspects, according to Carafa, would solve the economic and urban problems.

The topographic map by Carafa allowed to program ordered interventions, according to the greatest need, thanks to this new way of working, Naples started again being a European capital.

Duke of Noja,

Duke of Noja,

After the Duke of Noja’s death in 1769 the map was finished by his brother Giovanni Pignatelli, who varied it taking into account the urban changes that had been made up to that point. The work turned out very precise, so that still now it represents a valuable tool for those interested in Naples town-planning.

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During the 18th century the Gulf of Naples, because of its great beauty, became one of the favorite scenarios preferred by painters, who painted it from the sea, from the beach of Chiaia and the Carmine Castle, in painting depictions rich of movement for the presence of sailing ships, fishing boats, in a Naples portrayed in its most fascinating aspects, on a background composed of terraces overlooking the sea alternating with domes seeming to disappear behind the imposing Bourbon buildings.

In the second half of the 1700 the attention focused on the problem of clutter buildings that plagued the city . Thus without having tangible results given the complete aversion of the clergy and private citizens, who saw in the building regulations a great loss of earnings .

In 1760 there was the final arrangement of the Square Mercatello on which faced the Royal Gate leading to Toledo Street, and of Gate Alba (Port’Alba) set in an ancient Angevin tower .

Although the area not far from Tribunali Street would fit in an urban arrangement, it remained within the walls, stemmed from the major roads of communication. After the demolition of the Royal Gate the square will be the natural continuation of Toledo Street.

Between 1778 and 1780, the construction of the Royal Villa in the Riviera di Chiaia was very important, remaining today the only public garden in the city that was originally planned as a garden. Ferdinand IV entrusted Carlo Vanvitelli with the construction of the garden.

Vanvitelli was inspired by French gardens tracing five long avenues adorned with fountains, statues of mythological figures and benches. The main feature of the park was the direct contact with the sea, there was a double row of bleachers on the outer side of the avenue, which were used as seats, from which it was possible to observe the splendor of the bay and the beach.

The Vanvitelli structure was altered for the extension works of the gardens during the 1800s .

In 1779 Ferdinand IV divided the city into 12 districts supervised by the Criminal Judge of the High Court and the affixing of house numbers and street signs for a better knowledge of the city and a better control of the citizens.



A very important planning event happened in 1781 because of Francesco Sicuro, who, after a fire, took charge of rebuilding the Market Square . Sicuro replaced the wooden huts with shops masonry arranged in a rectangular pattern, whose center is a large exedra . The main entrance was placed on the Seaside street, with the presence of two large fountains.

In 1781 a decree was issued to get knowledge about the building situation in Naples, resulting in a demeaning context, where corruption was the main protagonist and crashes and injuries were caused by frequent and often, short time house building by people who boasted but were not entitled to.

The situation degenerated to the point that the adoption of the constitution of Zeno, adopted in the fifth century in Constantinople to reduce abuses in height, was suggested. The proposal was rejected by the House of St. Chiara who merely asserted the non-binding habits of common sense.

In these same years St. Leucio near Caserta was built, on the basis of a new model of community organization, founded on work and equality. St. Leucio became part of the Bourbon properties assets and of the Vanvitelli plan, where it was to be connected to the Palace by long straight avenues .

The properties were enlarged ant the first factories and farms were built. In the area development kept going on thanks to the establishment of foreign masters who favored the growing of new techniques .

In 1779 the Leucian Statute was issued, which the construction of a new Ferdinandopole worker center was connected to.

The Neapolitan intellectuals complained about a lack of attention to the city from the King. Vincenzo Ruffo in 1789 published a paper setting out the capital’s urban problems and how these could have been solved. The script is the only work of the 1700 trying to solve problems of the capital. Ruffo criticized the urban structure of the extremely chaotic small streets, and refusing any urban intervention prior to the Bourbon period, even Charles and Ferdinand were criticized for their marginal attention to the city center itself, leaving unchanged the pattern of narrow and twisty small raods.

To solve the urban problem Ruffo fixed four basic points: entrances, roads, palaces and buildings.

The main accesses to the city should be regular shaped squares, from which straight lined and tree sided roads started, creating junctions between the city center and the surrounding area.

Ruffo intended these points as simple tips to the authorities and hoped that one day there might be a man able to realize some results. Vincenzo Ruffo also examined the economic aspect of his program and argued that the Charities Institutes should finance the works, rather than “keep groups of poor idle”, while the area for the new squares would have been achieved by the demolition of monasteries, if that was needed.

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In 1734, Charles of Bourbon was welcomed in Naples with a big party – the Neapolitans imagined the very presence of the king in the city as an element for a happy relationship between subjects and the  monarchs.  For a harmonic expansion of the city the King  was faced with the  privilege  situation of the clergy. The financial balance of the kingdom could not be restored without the taxation of church property, and it was not possible to ignore the anti-clericalism rooted in the institutions.

Nevertheless, the clergy had continued to multiply and accumulate wealth. The privileged status of the clergy was also underlined by local, personal and real immunity.

The local immunity prevented to fairly administer justice, as the right of asylum made ​​every church and monastery haven for criminals and murderers, restricting the operation of the civil magistrate.

The personal immunity put  the clergy on a higher level above state laws.

The real immunity concerned  real properties,  and ecclesiastical structures  were exempted from paying taxes. Against the real immunity  in 1736  a land register  was established where  church properties were surveyed.

In 1740, a pragmatic established the  construction  suspension of all  church buildings, and the obligation of royal assent for  future building of religious structures. The relationship between Naples and Rome became more and more tense.

In the city, the climate was strongly anticlerical to the point that an anonymous poster wrote to the king, and congratulated for his work, encouraging him to continue on that road and advised him to get  a list of all kingdom monasteries and of  those who inhabit these religious structures, and then to charge 3 pug per day for each friar or nun  and 6 pugs per day for each superior friar or nun , and the income resulting   combined with the crown  funds should have been used for public works.

This letter was considered by the royal council in negotiations with Rome, however mitigating its requests. This letter was attributed to Antonio Genovesi who was considered the theorist of the “Treaty of accommodation” of 1741 signed between Italy and the Holy See.

Treaty that regulated  construction, financial, religious and legal aspects relating to the clergy. Doing so, the Holy See had to submit to the King’s will and undertake to pay the ordinary tribute for  church property, and  halved tax  for housings  purchased  before the Treaty. Within a short time, the public income was tripled.

The  asylum right was strongly limited to certain churches and monasteries, and only for certain offenses. The personal immunity was restricted to the clergy guilty of murder.

With Charles of Bourbon  the opportunity for social policies and for  the city restructuring were created. The spread of enlightenment in a culture influenced by French models led to the awakening of provincialism in the vice-king  period.

Buildings designed by leading Italian architects were built, because their fame helped to give an appearance of Naples as a capital  at European level, while focusing on the needs of the court rather than those of the people.

The architectural activity  reached the highest levels in the first half of the 700 with the arise of a typical current in  the local culture. The two representative artists of this period were Vaccaro and Sanfelice. The whole  Neapolitan environment was influenced by the use of stucco, creating amazing results on  house facades.

In 1750 in harmony with the needs of that time  Luigi Vanvitelli and Ferdinando Fuga were called to Naples.

The King entrusted to architect Vanvitelli,  well known for its huge work in the Papal States and the Marches,   to build in Caserta a large Palace, centerpiece of a new capital.

Royal Palace of Caserta

Royal Palace of Caserta

It was believed that the possibility of moving the court to Caserta was due to the excessive vulnerability of Naples from the sea side. – In 1742 England with the mere threat of an attack of the fleet was able to obtain the Bourbon neutrality.

Vanvitelli with the Royal Palace of Caserta took his chance and with his architectural language influenced the architects who followed him.  Before the  King entrance  in Naples there was the arrangement and enlargement of the vice-king palace unsuited to the needs of the court and in a state of neglect.

Author of the work was Medrano who was later entrusted with the work of Capodimonte –  a hunting and residence place for the court.

As a second residence in the immediate vicinity of the city the King chose Portici, entrusting the work to Canevari in collaboration with Medrano. This cooperation  did not last long, as there was no labor division, which led to quarrels and the  result was   the ouster of Medrano. The need to have both a view of the bay and a view towards Vesuvius determined the location of the royal residence on a busy road.

The large capital spent on the construction of this residence were strongly criticized, arguing that with the same money  the conditions of poverty and unemployment in which the people lived in Naples could have  been resolved.

The purchase of places to meet the King’s passion for hunting led to the creation of royal sites. Vast estates used for the breeding of feather and hair animals for haunting purposes. The first royal site was Procida which  later joined  Astroni, Lake Fusaro, Caserta, Maddaloni and other resorts.

Procida Island

Procida Island

The area where stood the palace of Capodimonte was free of buildings except for a few patrician villa connected to the city by a path. The works for the palace construction  began in 1738 and continued quickly, only to be slowed down, both for the economic nature of tasks requiring high investment and for the arrival in Naples of Vanvitelli. With  the beginning of the works in  Caserta, Capodimonte lost importance in the eyes of the King.

Particularly important is the construction of the wood in  Capodimonte by Sanfelice  melting  a new  reasoning style  with the old baroque one. The range of 5 long avenues perceptible at the same time from a single point of view, is intersected by minor avenues that offer unexpected perspectives scenically impressive.

wood in  Capodimonte

wood in Capodimonte

The presence of the building, however, did not create the conditions for urban development. For a proper connection with the city we have to  wait for the Napoleonic period with the construction of the health district bridge.

Categorie: English, Town-Planning | Tag: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 commento

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