One of the popular tourist attractions in Naples is the Royal Palace whose adjacent grounds house the San Carlo Theater, a museum, the National Library of Naples and a number of city offices, including those of the regional tourist board.
The palace itself happens to be one of the four residences used by the Bourbon Kings of Naples during their rule of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies (1730-1860), the others being the palace in Caserta, the palace on the Capodimonte hill overlooking Naples and the palace in Portici on the slopes of Vesuvius. The third one now houses the agricultural department of the University of Naples.
The Royal Palace was designed by Domenico Fontana and it was erected on the site of an even older Spanish viceroyal residence from the early 16th century. The royal residence was moved to Caserta in the 18th century, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault than Naples.
Various modifications and additions have been made to the palace giving it the present look. Resorations were made after a fire had damaged much of the palace and also after World War II to repair bomb damage. The western façade side of the building displays a series of statues of the rulers of dynasties to rule Naples since the foundation of the Kingdom of Naples in the twelfth century. They are: Roger II, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, Charles of Anjou, Alfonse of Aragon, Emperor Charles V, Charles VII of Naples, Joachim Murat, and Victor Emanuel II of Savoy, the first king of united Italy.