Relais vicino Santa Maria della Spina a Pisa

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Santa Maria della Spina

You could think Santa Maria della Spina (thorn), is called this way for its being so tiny.

The littlest church in Pisa: as small as a thorn and perched on Gambacorti’s embankment.

The concerned thorn is a precious relic transposed in Pisa in 1333 by a merchant returning from the Holy Land and, it is said, it directly come from the Christ’s crown. Today the relic is on display in the church of Santa Chiara.

The proximity to the river caused more than a problem to the building’s stability, because of the frequent floods.

Santa Maria della Spina was actually projected as a votive chapel and build aside the Ponte Novo (new bridge), which collapsed in the fifteenth century.

Maintenance took the most creative solutions over time, up to the extraordinary intervention in 1871 that completely rebuild the church a meter higher, causing many changes as the sacristy desappearance. And for this, compared to the sumptuous decorations outside, the interior of the church is bare, devoid of its original furnishings and limited to a single environment.

The church, though altered in its original form, remains one of the most remarkable examples of Pisan Gothic.