History of the museum
A first museum of the Sannio, which was archaeological, was founded in 1806 by Talleyrand, then prince of Benevento, in the old house of the Jesuits.
On September 4, 1873, a new museum was established by the province, collecting the material stored in the college of Jesuits and acquiring scattered objects. A first collection was housed from 1893 in the castle of rectors.
Since then, a section was opened in the complex of Saint Sophia. After the Second World War and the cleaning of the debris caused by the bombings, many discoveries came to enrich the museum.
A Museum of Contemporary Culture has also been created (painting, theater, music), which has become a multicultural institute, organizing music festivals (especially piano concerts), exhibitions and conferences.
The archaeological section, located on the ground floor of the cloister, houses collections ranging from Paleolithic in the province to pre-Roman. Examples of these include Samnite ceramics (Cities of Caudium and Telesia), and objects from Great Greece, from the eighth to the fourth century BC. Let us mention, from Roman times, copies of Greek-Roman statues, those of Emperor Trajan and his wife Plotinus, reliefs on the theme of gladiators.
An important room, that of Isis, was designed in 1999. There are gathered the remains, the Egyptian artefacts, of the temple dedicated to the goddess Isis built by Domitian; including statues of priests and divinities, of the emperor himself, hawks and lions, and an obelisk of the temple.
In the cloister are exposed tombstones.
The most important part is devoted to Lombardy Minor, referring to the period of the Duchy and the Longobard Principality of Benevento. Are housed here architectural remains, objects of Paleo-Christianity, as well as swords and axes, furniture, tools, gold jewelry, etc.
In the medal hall there is a large numismatic collection, including Greek, Byzantine, Papal and Neapolitan coins.
Upstairs, there are Romanesque sculptures and architectural fragments
Section of modern art
The artistic section consists mainly of an art gallery presenting works by most local artists: the Renaissance with the painter Donato Piperno, a Barocco room, with the artists Luca Giordano, Carlo Maratta and Francesco Solimena, antique furniture and ceramics, often from the 17th century from Naples. In the nineteenth-century hall, there are the watercolors of Achille Vianelli from the Posillipo School. In the twentieth century, there are figurative works.
A drawing room features prints from the 16th – 19th centuries, such as a view of the Trajan Arch by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
Housed in the rectors’ castle, this section traces the history of Benevento through official documents or ancient objects, such as the Pope’s edicts, Talleyrand’s declaration of taking possession of Benevento, busts of characters, weapons, etc. A part is particularly highlighted, that reminding the patriots of the Risorgimento in Benevento which are kept red shirts.
On the floor are preserved objects of the popular tradition of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: clothing, pottery, tools and a crib of the seventeenth century.
Schedules and Prices :
Schedules : from 9h to 19h every day except mondays (weekly closing)
Address : Piazza Santa Sofia, Benevento
Tel : (0039) 0824.774763
- Combined ticket: € 6,00 (reduced rate: € 4,00), valid for two days, with access to the Museo del Sannio, the S. Sofia cloister, Palazzo Casiello, Egyptian Section in Arcos and Museo dell’Arco di Traiano.
- Museum and cloister : € 4,00 (Reduced rate : € 2,00)
- Only cloister : € 2,00 (Reduced rate : € 1,00)
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