Chiesa di Sant'Eligio Maggiore


Dating from 1270, this simple Gothic beauty was the first church built by the Angevins. The church was once adorned with frescoes, of which a few fragments remain. Among these is a well preserved depiction of Urban V on a column at the rear of the nave. The wooden beamed ceiling was reconstructed after the church suffered extensive damage in WWII, while the fourth aisle was added in the 16th century. Another 16th-century addition is the beautiful external arch.

Rumour has it that the stone heads that decorate the eastern side of the arch represent Duke Antonello Caracciolo and maiden Irene Malarbi. The latter was forced to sleep with Caracciolo to free her wrongfully imprisoned father. As punishment, Isabella of Aragon forced the duke to marry Malarbi before having him executed. Politely ask the church custodian to see the adjoining cloister, graced by a 17th-century fountain.

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