Home > 2011 Posts, About Dave > Newcastle Arch

Newcastle Arch

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

No, not the proverbial Newcastle in England to which silly people sometimes bring coal.

This Newcastle is the one in Naples, Castel Nuovo. At a spry seven hundred years old, it’s a marvel of modernity compared to the glowering Norman mountain of stone, Castel del’’Ovo, on an island in the harbor.

In 1454, the Aragonese rulers of Naples and Southern Italy added a marble triumphal arch as the new castle’s entrance. Its lower interior arc is decorated with the faces of children in a pattern of portraits set in small octagons. These alternate with the expertly-carved blooms of different flowers. It’s lovely.

A visual bonus is the chipping from crossbow and bullet ricochets plus the obvious damage repairs. These give the arch character and a strong sense of Naples’ often violent history. Apparently, there were a few ‘Occupy Naples’ movements from time to time over the centuries.

From the castle parapets, you have a good view of the bay and Mount Vesuvius. Under the castle are Roman ruins. There are also lots of medieval items. Some are a little creepy and some are quite funny in a delightful, Neapolitan way.

This image is of the arch’s left-hand side as you face the castle. I was standing a few feet inside, looking up and out a bit. A large canvas print of the shot decorates my office wall as I write.

(Click here to see a larger image)

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: