Artistic heritage to visit in Castellammare di Stabia

Concathedral of Santissima Maria Assunta and San Catello

The Co-Cathedral of Santissima Maria Assunta and San Catello is the main church of Castellammare di Stabia: dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, inside it also venerates San Catello, patron saint of the city of Stabia, as well as co-patron of the archdiocese of Sorrento – Castellammare di Stabia .

The construction works began on 22 November 1587 and it was partially opened for worship in 1643. Important restoration and expansion works which led to the creation of the transept and the presbytery, in addition to the chapel of San Catello, took place between 1875 and 1893, year in which it was consecrated by Bishop Vincenzo Maria Sarnelli.

The church has the shape of a Latin cross and is divided into three naves, a central one, frescoed on the vault by Vincenzo Paliotti in 1893, and two lateral ones: the first chapel in the left nave preserves the baptistery and a tala by Giuseppe Bonito, while, in the half of the right aisle opens the chapel of San Catello, with a wooden statue of the saint dating back to 1609. On the main altar is a canvas depicting the Assumption by Nunzio Rossi. Noteworthy are the altar of the Ara Pacis with a canvas of the deposition attributed to Jusepe de Ribera or his school and the chapel of San Michele, with a statue of the saint, coming from the church on Mount Faito.

In 2019, the Neapolitan nativity scene was placed in the chapter house, with life-size shepherds, dated to the period between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Below the co-cathedral, during the 19th century expansion works, a Roman necropolis was discovered, from which sarcophagi, oil lamps, remains of columns and other furnishings from the early Christian era were found. It is currently not open to visitors.

Church of Jesus and Mary

The church of Jesus and Mary was built between 1614 and 1615; in the first half of the 19th century it was completely restored and decorated in Baroque style.

Internally it has a single nave with four chapels on each side; the vault is frescoed with the Glory of Christ by Vincenzo Galloppi from 1899. On the main altar is the canvas of the Blessed Virgin of the Rescue or of the Refuge, by Luca Giordano; there are also two works by Paolo De Matteis, a San Catello attributed to Ippolito Borghese and a machine for the 40 hours, made in polychrome wood by Neapolitan carvers between the 18th and 19th centuries. Attached to the church is a library containing over 20,000 volumes.


MUDISS: Sorrentine Diocesan Museum Stabiese pole Stabiese

The Stabiae section of the Sorrentine Diocesan Museum was established in 2008 and mainly collects finds from the Roman era found in the so-called area christianorum, a necropolis below the nearby co-cathedral of Castellammare di Stabia, during the construction works of the chapel of San Catello alla late 19th century.

In addition to the remains of columns, tombstones, capitals and oil lamps, the main works on display in the museum include a milestone commemorating the reopening of the road from Nuceria Alfaterna and Sorrentum following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79, the sarcophagus of Caio Longinio Priscus on which Apollo, Minerva and the Muses are sculpted, a bone fibula on which the embrace between Saints Peter and Paul is sculpted and a terracotta statue of San Biagio, from the homonymous cave.

Cave of San Biagio

The cave of San Biagio, also called Hypogeum of Saints Jason and Mauro, was an ancient tuff quarry from the Roman era, used for the construction of the villas of Stabia above. However, already in Roman times it probably assumed the role of a pagan temple, perhaps dedicated to Pluto, and later became an early Christian cemetery. Between the 6th and 8th centuries, the Benedictines transformed it into an oratory and dedicated it to the cult of Saint Michael in addition to Saints Mauro and Jason: it is probable that Jason was later interpreted as Biagio, since in some documents it appeared that he was named after a certain Iasone. Abandoned by the Benedictines between the 16th and 17th centuries, it was entrusted to the confraternity of wool carders who had Saint Biagio as their protector; at the end of the 17th century it was used as a meeting place for criminals and brigands, so much so that the bishop Annibale di Pietropaolo ordered its closure and moved the cult of San Biagio to the cathedral of Castellammare di Stabia.

In the cave there is a cycle of frescoes made in different eras covering a period between the 9th and 11th centuries: the figures are partly life-size and depict sacred personalities such as Christ, the Madonna and saints. It is currently closed.