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

Without connection with the Civitas Capuana, it is a medieval place but the vicinity with the Roman amphitheatre lead the inhabitants to change the name in Santa Maria Capua Vetere.

History

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 Villanovian civilization were present in pre-historical times, and these were probably enlarged by the Oscans and Etruscansmarker. In the 4th century BCE Capuae was the largest city in Italymarker after Romemarker.

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 Capuamarker in the site of the ancient River port of Casilinum.

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

For information about main ancient landmarks in the commune 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 Arichis II 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 1742-1788 works, during which the precious mosaic area of the apse was destroyed.

Twin towns



See also



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