The Complex of the Convent of San Gregorio Armeno is one of the oldest and richest in works of art in the city of Naples. The monastery was founded in the eighth century. by some Basilian nuns who fled from Constantinople because of iconoclasty. They carried the relics of Saint Gregory bishop of Armenia. Only since 1205 the monastery was dedicated to St. Gregory “ the enlightened Armenian”, who suffered terrible tortures and converted King Tiridates to Christianity.
In Norman times the monastery , that followed the Benedictine rule, was united to “ Our Saviour” and then dedicated to San Pantaleone . The first great transformation of the complex took place between 1574 and 1580, following the dictates of the Council of Trent, when the church was totally rebuilt following a design by Giovan Battista Cavagna and took the current structure: a single nave with four side chapels and an apse square where the dome is lodged . The realization of the beautiful coffered ceiling dates back to this period; it was commissioned to the Flemish painters Teodoro d’Errico and Giovanni Andrea Magliulo by the abbess Beatrice Carafa.
On the counter-face,the painter Luca Giordano painted the frescoes “Arrival at the beach of Naples of Armenian nuns”;” Translation of the body of St. Gregory”; “ Reception of the Neapolitans to the Sisters” (1684) and, on the arches of the chapels those between the windows with Stories of St. Gregory (1679-81) and the Virtues (1684). In the fifth chapel on the right are the remains and other relics of Santa Patrizia, who was moved here in 1864 from the suppressed monastery named after her; the cult of the saint is still very much alive and the church is also known as” Santa Patrizia” after the name of the saint. The marble high altar was made based on a design by the baroque sculptor and architect Dionisio Lazzari; “ Ascension” is the table of Giovan Bernardo Lama. In the dome you can admire the frescoes by Luca Giordano depicting the glory of Saint Gregory in 1671; the artist also depicted the Saints of the religious Benedictine order between the windows and “ Moses, Joshua, Melchizedek and Ruth” set on the corbels”.
Address: Via San Gregorio Armeno, 1
Free admission Church: open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 to 12.00, Tuesday and Sunday from 9.30 to 13.00
Cloister: open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 12.00 pm, Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Sunday from 9.30 to 12.45