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This is the oldest church in Naples and the original site of the cathedral, which was built over an ancient Greek sanctuary.
It was rebuilt in the 14th century and again in 1688 after an earthquake, but some ancient features remain.
Januarius, prays, raises the ampoule, and occasionally turns the ampoule upside down to check for liquefaction.
The process normally takes at least a few minutes and sometimes as long as an hour.
According to tradition, the blood of San Gennaro first miraculously liquefied in the hands of Bishop St.
Severus (d.409) after the saint's relics were transferred to Naples.
The decoration is mostly Baroque: the side walls bear portraits of 46 saints painted by Luca Giordano (d.1705) and the ornate ceiling was painted by Fabrizio Santafede in 1621. The monuments were created by Domenico Fontana in 1599.
Dating from the 5th century, it has a square plan and a square dome.
It seems that only one of the vials is the focus of the ceremony.
On the appointed days, the bishop brings the ampoule close to the reliquary bust of St.
The 27 columns may be from the ancient Greek temple and fragments of the Early Christian mosaic floor have also been revealed.
Visitors can tour some of the most ancient features, including a Greco-Roman mosaic floor, in the excavations beneath the chapel.