Lorenzo Maggiore's Church has got antique origins: it rises on an area
that was already occupied in the Roman age by a covered market (macellum)
dating back to the second half of the I century a.C. and then
left at the end of the V century a.C. Then, during the IV
century a.C., the bishop in Aversa, Giovanni II, made an Ancient Christian Basilica
the place dedicated to
Basilica having three naves, an abside that was preceded by an
atrium, was shorter than the present church, but it had got the same width, if we don't consider the surfaces of the chapels.
visitor can understand the dimensions of the old basilica
thanks to some brass listels that, put in the pavement, show the
position of the external walls and the supporting columns of the
Neapolitan Franciscan community settled in this
1234, making use of a gift that the bishop in Aversa gave
to the Friars Minor.
the same year the face of the church, whose remains the acute
arc portal, was built by the protonotary of the Bartolomeo
Reign in Capua..
fresco in the lunette, that is under the arc, represents San
Lorenzo's martyrdom. It was made by Attanasio Mozzillo (XVIII
1266, the Angioini took the place of the Sveva dynasty, so the
Franciscans, like the other beggar Orders, took advantage of the
fervour of the building enterprises that were wanted by new dynasty.
d'Angio I wanted the construction of a new sacred building
bigger and more prestigiuos that replaced the old basilica in VI
century. The new church had the typical architectonic style of
the French Ghotic.
the following centuries, the church had several reconstructions
and changes, also because of different earthquakes that
convulsed the town, in particular in 1456.
the works that ruined the church greatly, we remember the ones
that were made, like D'Engenio said " when The Friars Minor
and their prior Frà Gennaro Rocco, who was the executioner of
this church, wanted embellish and renovate it: everything was in
(C. D’Engenio, Napoli
Sacra, Napoli, 1623, p. 124).