The temple-like mausoleum stands in the famed Poggioreale Cemetery, where Naples' illustrious citizens are entombed. The Mausoleum Schilizzi was designed by architect Alfonso Guerra for Matteo Schilizzi, a wealthy merchant from Livorno, to be his family's tomb. It was started in 1883 in the Posillipo District, an affluent residencial quarter on Naples' gulf. Work stalled in 1889 when the buyer lost interest in the project. It languished until 1923 when the City of Naples acquired the partially-completed monument and moved it to the Poggioreale Cemetery, also known as the Monumental Cemetery, destined to be a memorial and mausoleum for the for fallen in World War I. The original plan was finished by the original architect's son, Camillo Guerra.
The domed monument is built in neo-Classic style and sits atop a staircase, making it seem like an ancient temple. It bears Egyptian-inspired sculptures around the base. While it was commissioned as a memorial to WWI, it also holds remains from WWII, in particular from the so-called Four Days of Naples, which took place from September 27-30, 1943, and was a popular insurrection by Neapolitan resistance to free the city from the Germans. Naples was awarded the Medal of Military Valor for it.
The Schilizzi Mausoleum pays homage to the war dead and is the site of official wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the year.
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