Originally built as a palace, the Gesú Nuovo Church was converted into a place of worship by the Jesuits. It stands in a square by the same name in Naples historic city center.
Built in 1470, the original palace façade was left intact when construction began to convert it into a church. The bugnato style exterior is characterized by pyramid-shaped stones on the façade, however, its outward appearance can lead to confusion, sometimes causing unknowing visitors to walk right by, not realizing what’s tucked inside. The Church’s Baroque interior is ornate with 11 Chapels and frescos throughout that represent bible scenes and the stories of Saints. The church’s construction was a lengthy process, started in 1584 but not completed until 1601.
The church is called Gesù Nuovo (New Jesus), because the Jesuits had already built another Jesus Church in 1568. The first church is now called Gesù Vecchio (Old Jesus). It belongs to the diocese and is used by the University of Naples. Santa Chiara is also located in the square of Gesù Nuovo, near the Church, making visiting both an easy possibility.