Capua is an illustrious and antique metropolis in Campania. Its museum contains the most resplendent archaeological and medieval relics from this region of Italy.
The Archaeological Museum stands on one of Capua’s most ancient settlements, first occupied by the Torre di Sant’Erasmo during the Longobard era. Inaugurated in 1995, it contains archaeological finds coming from the excavations carried out in the territory. The complex consists of 32 exhibition rooms, 20 areas for deposit, three large courtyards and a vast garden.
Twelve halls, illustrative panels and legends allow visitors to retrace the history of the territory from the first millennium BC to the 9th century AD, a period of decline for the city. From Bronze Age to Iron Age, from the archaic period to the Etruscan civilization, from the Sunnite to the Roman period, a history full of influences and changes retraceable through the objects on display. Votive sculptures, weapons, golden jewels, grave goods, bronze vases, the reconstruction of a tomb crypt with a natural size fresco of the dead, red figure chinaware, votive medals, architectonic elements and many other objects.
The Provincial Museum of Campania in Capua was founded in 1870 and inaugurated in 1874; it is the most significant museum of ancient Italian civilization in Campania. The museum is in the historic Antignano building, whose foundations go back to the 9th century and incorporate the ruins of San Lorenzo ad Crucem, a church dating from the Lombardic age. The building boasts the splendid Durazzesco-Catalan portal which bears mountings of the Antignano and Alagno coats of arms.
a royal decree led to the museum’s founding to house the region’s archaeological and artistic heritage
The first director, professor Gabriele Iannelli, a distinguished archaeologist, historian and epigraphist who, according to the words of Norbert Kamp “possessed a truly unique vision for his time of the entire Capuan tradition “- was a tenacious organizer who managed the museum for over 30 years.
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The museum is a mirror-image of the three millennia old life of a metropolis which has seen rulers that include the Oscans, Etruscans, Samnites, Romans, Longobards, Normans, Swabians, Angevins, Aragonese and Spaniards. Its history is linked to names such as Spartacus, Hannibal, Pandolfo Capodiferro and Pietro della Vigna, Cesare Borgia and Hector Fieramosca. By 1956, with the addition of new rooms, the collections had been rearranged with the most modern criteria. The new Museum of Campania is among the most important in Italy and Europe. The layout was realized by prof. Raffaello Causa, responsible for the medieval and the modern section, and by prof. Alfonso De Franciscis and Mario Napoli, responsible for the archaeological section. The museum is divided into an archaeological and a medieval department along with an important library.
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