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Naples: Art, History, Culture, Cuisine...

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Church of Sant'Angelo al Nilo

Of the primitive church, built by Cardinal Rinaldo Brancaccio between 1385 and 1401, almost nothing remains except the original facade on Via Mezzocannone, which retains the Gothic-Catalan style doorway. The name of the church derives from its proximity to the square where the statue of the Nile god stands, denoting the area of the city inhabited by Egyptians in Greek and Roman times. Its present appearance dates back to the restructuring carried out in the sixteenth century, which modified the layout and created a new facade on the square, in which the present doorway was placed. The inside of the church consists of just one room, with two chapels down the side on the right. In the presbytery chapel stands the funeral monument of Cardinal Rinaldo Brancaccio (1428), sculpted in Renaissance style by Michelozzo and Donatello (Relief of the Assumption). It is likely that the two artists did not work on the monument in Naples, but in Pisa, and that it was later transported and erected by Pagno di Lapo Portigiani. (Francesca Del Vecchio)