Recent seismic events that hit the Centre Italy have highlighted again the high vulnerability of the historical and architectonical heritage of Italy and the importance of preserve it. However the seismic assessment of monumental building is particularly complex because each historical construction is a singular case realized by specific techniques. Therefore the knowledge of the building is a difficult and indispensable process. In the present paper the seismic behaviour of an important nineteenth century astronomical observatory, constructed between 1816 and 1819, is investigated. The building, located in Naples, the southern part of Italy classified by the Italian code as an area of medium seismic hazard, is analysed in the elastic and inelastic range under seismic actions. In this study the results of two different models are proposed and critically compared. The first one is implemented by shell elements for walls and vaults developing a dynamic linear analysis, while the second one simulates the building through “equivalent frames” applying a non linear static analysis.
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