Don’t let the entrance fool you, this stunning church will take your breath away.
Most visitors enter San Domenico Maggiore from the piazza of the same name – the church’s apsidal (and less opulent) side, through the Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo a Morfisa, a 10th century church that was incorporated into the complex as a side chapel. The church’s main (and more majestic entrance) sits in a courtyard to the north that connects the church to its convent. This monastery was the original seat of the University of Naples. It was here that Saint Thomas Aquinas studied and where he returned in his final years to teach and found his University of Theology.
The church’s Baroque era paneled ceiling is a sight to behold as is Cosimo Fanzago’s high altar. Its 27 side chapels are filled with more precious works of art than many museums, but San Domenico Maggiore’s most glorious work by far is the frescoed ceiling in the sacristy: Francesco Solimena’s Triumph of Faith over Heresy by the Dominicans. Below it, sits a 3 sided double-tier gallery with 45 coffins containing the remains of members of the Aragonese court.