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In 1750 Charles of Bourbon (1716-1788) decided to build the Royal Palace as ideal center of the new Kingdom of Naples, by that time autonomous and released from Spanish aegis. The choice of the location, where it would rise the new kingdom’s  administrative capital, fell on the plains of Terra di Lavoro, in the site dominated by the sixteenth century Acquaviva palace.

The project for the majestic building, intended to compete with others European royal residences, was committed, after various events, to architect Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773), son of the most important landscape painter, Gasper Van Wittel, formerly active in Rome under Benedetto XIV in dome of S. Pietro restoration.


The building of the Royal Palace began with the laying of the foundation stone on January 20th, 1752 and proceeded with alacrity until 1759, when  Charles of Bourbon, after the death of  the King of Spain, left the kingdom of Naples to reach Madrid. After Charles’s departure, the construction works of the “new Palace”, named like this at that time the Royal Palace, suffered a considerable slowdown, so at the death of Luigi Vanvitelli in 1773, they were far from being completed.  Carlo Vanvitelli, Luigi’s son, and subsequently other architects, trained at the Vanvitelli’s school, carried out this great royal residence in the next century.

Charles of bourbon

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