Santa Maria Capua Vetere

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Santa Maria Capua Vetere
Comune
Città di Santa Maria Capua Vetere
The Cathedral.
The Cathedral.
Coat of arms of Santa Maria Capua Vetere
Coat of arms
Santa Maria Capua Vetere is located in Italy
Santa Maria Capua Vetere
Santa Maria Capua Vetere
Location of Santa Maria Capua Vetere in Italy
Coordinates: 41°05′N 14°15′E / 41.083°N 14.250°E / 41.083; 14.250Coordinates: 41°05′N 14°15′E / 41.083°N 14.250°E / 41.083; 14.250
Country Italy
Region Campania
Province Caserta (CE)
Frazioni Sant'Andrea dei Lagni
Government
 • Mayor Biagio Maria Di Muro (Lista civica)
Area
 • Total 36 km2 (14 sq mi)
Population (31 July 2008)
 • Total 33,713
 • Density 940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
Demonym Sammaritani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 81055
Dialing code 0823
Patron saint St. Simmachus and Bl. Vergin Maria Assunta
Saint day October 22 and August 15
Website Official website

Santa Maria Capua Vetere is a town and comune in the province of Caserta, part of the region of Campania (southern Italy).

The city of Santa Maria Capua Vetere is to be understood as the old Capua, a city built by the Romans. The city which is now called Capua was built much later.[citation needed]

Though it is not connected with the Civitas Capuana, the town is a medieval place and its nearness to the Roman amphitheatre led the inhabitants to change its name in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, where Capua Vetere means Old Capua.

History[edit]

For the history of ancient Capua, see History of Ancient Capua. For ecclesiastical history see Bishopric of Capua

In the area several settlements of the Villanovan culture were present in pre-historical times, and these were probably enlarged by the Oscans and Etruscans. In the 4th century BCE Capuae was the largest city in Italy after Rome.

The city was damaged by Vandal ravages but later recovered and became the seat of an independent Lombard principate. However, during the struggle of the succession to the Duchy of Benevento, it was destroyed by a band of Saracens in 841 CE. The survivors mostly fled and founded the modern Capua in the site of the ancient River port of Casilinum.

In 73 B.C.E marked the start of the Third Servile War by the Gladiator Spartacus from the House of Batiatus, then Spartacus would begin to pose the biggest threat to Rome since Hannibal

What is now Santa Maria Capua Vetere started to grow slowly when several countryside residences appeared around the old Christian basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore, San Pietro in Corpo and Sant'Erasmo in Capitolio. King Robert of Anjou made Santa Maria Maggiore one of his summer residences.

The town was known as Santa Maria Maggiore until 1861.

Main sights[edit]

For information about main ancient landmarks in the comune of Santa Maria Capua Vetere, see Main sights in Capua.

The main other landmark of Santa Maria Capua Vetere is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, founded, according to the tradition, by Pope Symmachus in the 5th century. The church had originally a single nave, but was enlarged by Lombard Prince Arechis II of Benevento in 787. Another renovation was carried out in 1666 by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, with the addition of two further aisles; the current Late Baroque appearance dates to the 1742–88 works, during which the precious mosaic area of the apse was destroyed.

Notable connections[edit]

Santa Maria Capua Vetere main historical sights
Photo of the amphitheatre
The amphitheatre of the ancient Capua 
Photo of a Roman triumphal arch
Arch of Hadrian (Arco di Adriano) 
Fresco of a tauroctony depicting Mithra slaying a white bull

Twin towns[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]