The Church of San Giovanni A Mare

The small 10th century church of San Giovanni a Mare is one of the oldest churches of Gaeta situated on the seafront in Via Bausan close to the Gaeta’s Cathedral. It is believed to have been founded in the 10th century by the Duke of Gaeta, Giovanni IV, on the site of a Roman building. Indeed some Roman elements were incorporated into the structure. A newer church was erected in its place during the end of the 11th and early 12th century. In 1213 it was rebuilt following an earthquake.  In 1628 the Brotherhood of San Giuseppe was founded for local carpenters and shipbuilders. 

The exterior of the church has a rounded Arabic dome and is decorated with blocks in a Byzantine style. It was probably also decorated in tiles of maiolica. The church also has a bell tower with three arches and two bells. Above the doorway are the remains of a fresco which is thought to have depicted St John the Evangalist. Inside the church there were some interesting 14th century frescoes, some of which have now been transferred to a local museum for safe keeping.  The floor is intentionally inclined towards the entrance, to encourage sea water to flow away in the event of high tides or flooding.  

The Church Exterior

Church of San Giovanni Al Mare in Gaeta Italy
Dome of the Church of San Giovanni Al Mare in Gaeta Italy
Church of San Giovanni Al Mare in Gaeta Italy
Via Bausan Church of San Giovanni a Mare Gaeta
Facade of the Church of San Giovanni a Mare Gaeta Italy
Chiesa di San Giovanni A Mare Gaeta Italia
Bell Tower Church of San Giovanni a Mare Gaeta Italy
Byzantine Dome of the Church of San Giovanni a Mare Gaeta Italy

The Church Interior

Ancient Frescoes

A local musical association sometimes uses the church as a venue in which to hold classical concerts.