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  Santa Maria della Spina  
(Provincia di Pisa, Toscana)
Italy > Pisa > Pisa > Santa Maria della Spina

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"Little church by the canal"

Santa Maria della Spina is a very small church at the edge of Pisa. The canal beside it was really wonderful and gave it a very regale appeal. The insides of the church were just as brilliant as the outside. It was full of history.

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Santa Maria della Spina

Santa Maria della Spina is a small church in the Italian city of Pisa. The church, erected around 1230 in the Pisan Gothic style, and enlarged after 1325, was originally known as Santa Maria di Pontenovo for the newer bridge that existed nearby, collapsed in the 15th century, and was never rebuilt.

The name of della Spina derives from the presence of a thorn, putatively part of the crown of thorns placed on Christ during his Passion and Crucifixion. The relic was brought to this church in 1333. In 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous infiltration of water from the Arno river. The church was altered in the process, however, and John Ruskin, who visited Pisa in 1872, was outraged about the restoration.

The church of Santa Maria della Spina has always been administered by the city, except for short interruptions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when it fell to the responsibility of the local hospital.


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