When I was at the VT meeting in Cascais earlier this year I had breakfast one day with member white_smallstar who told me that when I visited Pisa I must be sure to see the church of Santa Maria della Spina because, in her words, “it is a little gem”. So I went, and she was right – it is indeed a gem. Thank you Nico.
The church was built in 1230 and was originally known as Santa Maria de Pontenovo, being named for the “new bridge” that was just beside it at that time. The name was changed to Santa Maria della Spina in 1333, when it became home to the reliquary of a thorn from Christ’s crown (spina is thorn in Italian). The reliquary is no longer there, but the name remains.
One reason for this church’s charm is its close proximity to the river; another its small size; and the third the wonderful Gothic pinnacles that rise from every point of the roof. Many of these are crowned by statues of the Virgin Mary (see photos 2 and 3 for details of these).
We had heard that the interior was rather dull compared to this beautiful exterior and as there is an admission charge we decided not to go in. But if you’d like to have a look, the opening hours are on the city website here.
parco san rossore bicycle ride
last autumn when i went to pisa i felt like getting my muscles into moving and rented a bike at the central rental store and went all the way out to marina di pisa to take a dip in the ocean and afterward i went to parco san rossore northward from marina di pisa.
i was all by myself for hours watching funny birds in a courtyard of houses where nobody lived anymore. meeting a fox who obviously just came from the beach fishing and lots of other flying or creeping animals i have never seen before in a lagoon.
i was really wiped out in the evening but it was worth it.
I'd been to Pisa several times before I finally remembered to take a look at this tiny, but ornate church. Glad I did. Situated along the Arno River to the west of the Corsa, this is a beautiful, if impressively small, church that is said to have at one time housed a thorn from the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus himself!
Step inside and pay the person on your left a couple of euros to enter the church. There's no real 'open' sign so do your best to interpret the hours and give the front doors a reverent tug.
Santa Maria della Spina is a small Gothic church that got its name from the word "Spina" which means Thorn in Italian. It is believed that a thorn from Jesus Christ's crown was kept here. In 1871 this pretty little church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous inflitration of water from the Arno. Its unique and pretty architecture makes it stand out from the street around it like a beacon. There is a small charge to enter the church, but to be honest even that isn't worth paying. Just open the doot and have a look inside at an ordinary room not unlike a small church hall and totally unchurchlike. Admire the ouside, forget the inside. The whole building is crowned by a delicate lace of pinnacles and niches, while the facade by tabernacles with statues. The small sculptures portraying Saints and Angels over the tympani are from the Nino Pisano's workshop, while the niche in the right pillar has a Madonna with Child by Giovanni di Balduccio.
When I was walking along the streets, this little church caught my attention. It was really strange for a church to be bulit along the streets, in the middle of nowhere. In 1871, it was taken down a little at a time from the river banks and was rebuilt here.
Santa Maria della Spina is a small Gothic church in the Italian city of Pisa. The church, erected in 1230, was originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo: the new name of Spina ("thorn") derives from the presence of a thorn allegedly part of the crown dressed by Christ on the Cross, brought here in 1333. In 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous inflitration of water from the Arno river: the church was slightly altered in the process, however.it has a rectangular plant, with an external facing wholly composed of marble, laid in polychrome bands.The small sculptures portraying Saints and Angels over the tympani are from the Nino Pisano's workshop, while the niche in the right pillar has a Madonna with Child by Giovanni di Balduccio.
Santa Maria della Spina, charming Pisan-Gothic building, is rising right on the bank of the river Arno, very unusual place for an church. Actually, in 1871 the church was disassembled and again completely assembled on the present Lungarno, because of dangerous seepage of water.
The whole building is crowned by a delicate lace of pinnacles and niches, while the facade by tabernacles with statues. The right side of the church is in particularly richly decorated, there are thirteen niches with the statues, works of the school of Giovanni Pisano.
The Santa Maria Della Spina was built between 1230 - 1323 by Nino and Giovanni Pisano to house a thorn said to be from Christ's crown. It is beautiful on the outside but I didn't go inside because as I approached and realised that you had to pay to get inside and was digging in my bag for my purse, I poked my head around the door (to see if there was anything in there worth paying to see) and the girl taking the money slammed the door in my face. Whereby my purse stayed shut and we were on out way!
The roofline of this tiny church bristles with spiky Gothic pinnacles. miniature spires and niches sheltering statues of apostles and saints. The decorations reflects the history of the church, which was built between 1230 and 1323 to house a thorn (spina) from Christ's Crown of Thorns, the gift of a Pisan merchant. The church was once even closer to the river but was rebuilt on the present site in 1871 to protect it from flooding.
Santa Maria della Spina is a remarkable tiny church along the Arno river.
Originally this church was below the present street level. As a result of constant floods, it was taken apart piece by piece and rebuilt on the new road level.
It's not worth.
You have to pay (2€ I think) to enter that little church by the river.
It has nothing special inside!
Don't go there unless...
1.: You are a devoted religious;
2.: You don't have anything better to do with your money.
The Church of Santa Maria della Spina – (St. Mary of the Thorn) is situated on the south bank of the river Arno, it was originally even closer to the river but was moved to its current position in 1871 due to fears of flooding. The church is Pisa's finest example of Gothic architecture. The ‘spina' refers to a thorn from Christ's crown that was acquired by the merchant who rebuilt the church in 1323.
This cute little chapel is worth a look, so you shouldn´t only visit the Piazza dei Miracoli. It´s standing at the banks of the river Arno, and you get a nice impression of the city from here
Please have a look at my travelogue, there are some nice pics in the late afternoon sun!
I said Pisa is closely-packed and infact you find all major attractions in the main square but you can also do a relaxing walk on the Lungarno, that' s to say along the bank of the well-known Arno river, and find some nice spots like the gothic church of Santa Maria della Spina.
Don't forget to drop by this fancy gothic church CHIESA DELLA SPINA, situated along the Arno river. The opening hours of this church for visitors can be somewhat erratic... but hey, even if it's closed whilst you're here, nevermind. It's the exterior of the church that's eye-catching. Photos of this interesting church will certainly add flavor to your photo album back home!