Santa Maria del Parto a Mergellina

Naples, Italy

Santa Maria del Parto a Mergellina

Santa Maria del Parto a Mergellina (Holy Mary of Childbirth in Mergellina) is a church located in the quartiere of Chiaia in Naples, Italy. The church is peculiarly perched on top of a private building, and accessed by a stairway, placed behind a restaurant located in piazza Mergellina.

The church was founded by poet Jacopo Sannazaro, on land donated to him by King Frederick I of Aragon in 1497. In 1526, Sannazaro authored a poem in Latin hexameter titled De partus Virginis (Childbirth of the Virgin) that helped give the church its name. The church was completed shortly before the poet died in 1530, it was donated to the monks of Santa Maria dei Servi. Sannazzaro's tomb sits behind the altar. The lower church was originally dedicated to the Vergine del Parto (Virgin of Childbirth), and later converted into a crypt. The funeral chapel was originally dedicated to San Nazario, subsequently transformed into a church of "Santa Maria del Parto".In 1886, the church was declared a national monument and became property of the State.

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