At the end of the 16th century, the king Philip III of Spain planned to come and visit the city. On this occasion, especially in order not to make a bad impression, the viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro commissioned Domenico Fontana to build this astonishing palace. Although the king changed his mind and did not go to Naples, it just took some years for the building to be completed. The main façade is incredibly impressive and is composed of eight recesses housing statues of Neapolitan kings, such as Roger II of Sicily and Victor Emmanuel II, each one of them made by a different sculptor.
Moreover, in 1768 Ferdinando Fuga created the amazing Teatrino di Corte (a court little theatre) and the Palatine Chapel dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary, according to the project of Cosimo Fanzago. The majestic stairs date back to the end of the 19th century: they were restored by Gaetano Genovese and lead to the Royal Apartment. Its historical rooms still house authentic objects and furniture.
The Royal Palace overlooks Piazza del Plebiscito, the widest square in the city which was once called ‘Largo di Palazzo’ (Royal Square). Just in the middle of it, there are two equestrian statues made by Antonio Canova that represent the kings Ferdinand I and Charles III of the Two Sicilies. Furthermore, it is possible to reach on foot the monumental church of San Francesco di Paola. The square is often the location for the most outstanding events in the city, such as the Festa di Piedigrotta.