Pisa City: the most famous sights
Italy is a beautiful and wonderful country. Every corner of this state deserves special attention, and in any Italian city there are plenty of attractions that will impress even the most sophisticated travelers.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy is the city of Pisa. Probably, there are no people who would not hear about this place. First of all, Pisa is associated with the famous «falling» tower, known throughout the world. However, this great building is not the only reason to visit the wonderful Italian city. So, what sights can you see in Pisa?
Square of Miracles
Tourists are not in vain seeking to see the Tower of Pisa. When they reach it, they get to the very heart of the city, its beautiful corner — to the Square of Miracles or, as the Italians call it — Piazza dei Miracoli. The architectural complex of the square has no analogues in the whole world: besides the famous tower on Piazza dei Miracoli there are three more monumental sights. These are medieval buildings, unique in their beauty and grandeur: the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Baptistery and the Campo Santo cemetery.
Although crowds of tourists gather all the time at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the central architectural monument of the square is not she, but the cathedral. The construction of this building was begun in the XI century. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the brightest example of the Romanesque style. It is made of white and gray marble, decorated with antique mosaics, frescoes, massive bronze doors. The cathedral contains the most valuable relics of the Middle Ages — the relics of the saints.
The Baptistery of John the Baptist (San Giovanni) was built after the construction of the cathedral, but a little earlier than the Leaning Tower.
This building served as a venue for the rite of baptism. Italy and the city of Pisa can rightly be proud of this building: the Pisa Baptistery is the largest in the country. Its height is almost 55 m, and the circumference is 107 m. The architectural monument has an unusual style, representing a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic directions. This is explained by the fact that 3 architects participated in the construction of the building at different times.
Campo Santo cemetery is located in the northern part of Piazza dei Miracoli. This, of course, is not at all the graveyard that most Russian tourists can imagine. Camposanto Monumental — a magnificent historic building in the Gothic style. It is built in the form of a long covered gallery with large arches. Once there was a large number of Roman sarcophagi, but because of the fire that occurred during World War II, only a small part of the frescoes, sculptures and the sarcophagi survived.
Speaking of the Square of Miracles, of course, one cannot help but touch the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is to this sights that tourists visiting the city strive first of all. Perhaps the unique monument to this building was made not so much by its architecture as the famous slope.
Many people mistakenly believe that the tower’s roll is an amazing architectural idea, but scientists are increasingly inclined to believe that a serious mistake was made during construction: the architects did not take into account the composition of the soil on which the building was erected, and also made it too small for such a monumental building foundation.
Today, the Tower of Pisa is regularly restored and trying to save from destruction.
Piazza dei Cavalieri
Undoubtedly, many tourists come to the city to see the Square of Miracles. But do not forget about another famous Leaning Square — Piazza dei Cavalieri, which, by the way, is the second most important Leaning landmark. The history of this place has more than one century. Once the headquarters of the knightly Order of St. Stephen was located here (hence the name of the landmark, which translates as “The Square of the Knights”), and now the whole city knows Piazza dei Cavalieri as the center of the educational sphere of Pisa: on the square is the building of the university the Palazzo della Carovana, the former knight’s palace.
The most interesting detail of this building is the facade finish, made in a special sgraffito technique. The walls of the palace are covered with images of zodiac signs and allegorical figures, decorated with the emblem of the famous Medici dynasty and sculpted busts of masters of the knightly order. Inside the building are still preserved ancient paintings of the XVI century.
Also on the square you can look at the only Renaissance church in Pisa, built in the middle of the 16th century, Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Palazzo del Orologio (Clock Tower) and the Church of Saint-Rocco.
Churches of Pisa
Italy is one of those countries where you can meet architectural sights related to religion at every corner. This, of course, is about temples, cathedrals and churches, of which there are very many in Pisa. In addition to the Cathedral in the Square of Miracles in Pisa, there are also the following facilities of this kind:
- Santa Maria della Spina is a 13th century Gothic church, one of the most striking examples of Gothic architecture, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe. According to legend, a thorn was once kept here from a wreath that was put on the head of Jesus crucified on Calvary.
- San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno — a church on the banks of the river Arno, built in the Romanesque style. This is one of the oldest buildings in Pisa: the exact year of its creation is still unknown, but researchers found that the church definitely existed here at the beginning of the XI century. On the walls of the temple to this day has survived a unique painting, dating from the XII century.
- Santo Sepolcro is an octagonal Romanesque church, built at the beginning of the XII century. The architect of the building was Dyotisalvi — the same person who many years later participated in the construction of the Cathedral of Pisa and the Baptistery in the Square of Miracles. The name of the church translates as “Church of the Holy Sepulcher”: according to legend, for some time there were valuable relics brought from the Jerusalem temple.
- San Nicola. The first mention of this sight refers to the end of the XI century. Many years later, the church was expanded, a chapel was attached to it, new altars were added. The building is interesting not only for its architecture and appearance, but also for the interior. Ancient canvases and frescoes of the artists of the XIV-XV centuries are still kept here.
- San Piero a Grado is the oldest architectural monument located in the quarter with the same name. When archaeological excavations were carried out here, traces of an even more ancient structure were found — an early Christian church. The construction of San Piero a Grado was begun in the X century. Today, 14th century frescoes have been preserved in the church, and a wooden crucifix made in the 17th century is located above the main altar.
- San Sisto is a stone church of the 12th century, erected in the Romano-Pisan architectural style. Every year on August 6 in San Sisto solemn commemorative events are held dedicated to all the inhabitants of the city who died in wars.
If you are visiting the city of Pisa, be sure to take the time to explore these unique attractions with a long history. Ancient architecture, majestic facades, stunning ancient frescoes — all this is really worthy of attention.
Quarter of San Martino
The city of Pisa is famous primarily for its architecture, so a special pleasure for tourists is a walk through the San Martino quarter, where ancient sights can be found literally on every corner. Many travelers prefer to explore the quarter on their own, slowly wandering through its picturesque streets. By the way, this is where the most beautiful church of Santo Sepolcro is located, which has already been mentioned above.
Italy is famous for its chic medieval palaces, and the San Pietro San Martino is one of those neighborhoods where there are many of them. Palazzo Tizzoni and Palazzo Chevoli are especially distinguished. In the first of these, the Tizzoni family known in Pisa once lived. The main and most valuable sights of this palace are a beautiful bas-relief in marble, depicting the young savior of Pisa Kintsiki dei Sismondi (in the XI century protected the city from the attack of Turkish troops), and the ancient Roman sarcophagus, dating back to the 3-4th century. In the Palazzo Cevoli also lived the eminent Chevoli family, which once hosted the Danish king Federico IV. In memory of this, there is an inscription in Latin on the facade of the palace, and inside, on the walls of the building, frescoes still remain, on which you can see representatives of the royal dynasty.
San Martino stretched along the embankment of Lungarno Galileo. This gives the quarter a special beauty: in the evening, dozens of lights are lit in old buildings, they are reflected in the water surface, and the atmosphere of the area becomes simply amazing.
No less beautiful is the other quay of San Martino — Lungarno Fibonacci, named after the famous mathematician. It was here that there was a place for another beautiful and fascinating sights — the majestic Fortezza Sangallo fortress, within which a garden of impressive size spread, called Giardino Scotto — in memory of the former owners of the fortress. Today, the garden has become a public park and is one of the largest in Pisa.
Now you know what to see, visiting a small Italian city, known throughout the world. Thanks to the trip to Pisa, many travelers still long remember Italy with particular enthusiasm, because the sights of the “Tuscan Pearl” leave a truly indelible impression.