Church of Santa Maria della Spina

  • Lungarno Gambacorti, 56125 Pisa PI, Italia
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The Church of Santa Maria della Spina was originally called Santa Maria del Ponte Nuovo, as it was built on the bank of the Arno at the height of the bridge - destroyed in the 15th century - that connected Via Santa Maria with today's Via Sant'Antonio. Church of Santa Maria della Spina Santa Maria della Spina ©Guglielmo Giambartolomei The church owes its name to the fact that it once guarded one of the thorns of Christ's crown, which is currently located in the church of Santa Chiara (in Via Roma, near Piazza dei Miracoli). The facade in Gothic style, with numerous spires, is divided in the center by a pillar that holds a Madonna and Child between two angels. The interior has a single hall, with walls divided by two-colored bands, typical of the Pisan Romanesque. The church preserves the tabernacle, which contained the relic of the Thorn, and a copy of the Madonna del Latte by Andrea and Nino Pisano (the original is exhibited at the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo on the Lungarno Mediceo). Because of the damage caused by the frequent flooding of the Arno, in 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt one meter higher than its initial position.

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