The Fontanelle cemetery in Naples is a charnel house, an ossuary, located in a cave in the tuff hillside in the Materdei section of the city. It is associated with a chapter in the folklore of the city. By the time the Spanish moved into the city in the early 16th century, there was already concern over where to locate cemeteries, and moves had been taken to locate graves outside of the city walls. Many Neapolitans, however, insisted on being interred in their local churches. To make space in the churches for the newly interred, undertakers started removing earlier remains outside the city to the cave, the future Fontanelle cemetery. The remains were interred shallowly and then joined in 1656 by thousands of anonymous corpses, victims of the great plague of that year.
Sometime in the late 17th century—according to Andrea De Jorio, a Neapolitan scholar from the 19th century, great floods washed the remains out and into the streets, presenting a grisly spectacle. The anonymous remains were returned to the cave, at which point the cave became the unofficial final resting place for the indigent of the city in the succeeding years—a vast paupers' cemetery. It was codified officially as such in the early 19th century under the French rule of Naples. The last great "deposit" of the indigent dead seems to have been in the wake of the cholera epidemic of 1837.
|Monday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
Ant Bo | Jun 3, 2018
One of the most exciting and creepiest places to visit. If you are an India Jones Type of Tourist go visit it but respect the place.
Tomasz Barański | Mar 8, 2018
A great historical place for visiting while in Naples. Full of history and you can feel the religious aspect of it. Free of charge but you have to find it first and not get lost in all those similar streets here in Naples.
Anthony Wong | Dec 28, 2017
Very eerie and sombre. It is what you expect - a vast area of skeletons. There were around 40,000 skeletons in this tomb, which made the whole experience quite surreal. To think that there were so many bodies buried here is quite distressing. I understand that there are many many more skeletons underneath the ground you walk on which have not been dug up. The tombs were a good 10-15 mins walk from the nearest underground station but it was well signposted. It was free to enter.
Catherine | Apr 30, 2018
Fascinating and free. Hardly anyone inside. Well worth it.
jillian capps | Apr 4, 2018
I really enjoyed visiting here. Not what I expected, but fantastic. Highly recommended.
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