Monumental cemetery of Pisa
In the miracle's square of Pisa, near the Leaning Tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistery.
The "cimitero monumentale", also known as "vecchio cimitero monumentale of Pisa", is the last of the monuments to arise on the Miracle's Square in Pisa and its long external marble wall, composed of 43 blind arches and two doors, delimits the northern boundary defining it thoroughly.
Founded in 1277 by Giovanni di Simone, the structure represents an oblong cloister in flowery "Gothic" style, with the aim of accommodating the sarcophagi from the Roman period, which until then were scattered around the Cathedral and reused as illustrious Pisans’ burials.
The building had to be a "large and decent, secluded and closed"; the result is one of the oldest medieval Christian architectures, destined to cult of the dead.
Its position against the wall, aims to unite ideally the Cathedral with the Baptistery; according to a legend the cemetery was born around a layer of earth brought away by the ship from the Holy Land after a Crusade in the 12th century.
The Cemetery welcomed the sepulchres of the most prestigious teachers of the Faculty of the University of Pisa and the members of the Medici family, who in ' 500 dominated the city, and to whom alluded even the characters of biblical scenes painted on the walls. The monument was launched into the Pantheon of local memories: not only of individuals and families, but also of the classical and medieval past of Pisa.
Walled cemetery, the walls inside were once painted with the "stories of the Old Testament" in the North gallery, while in the South gallery there were the "stories of Genesis"; the more realistic and important fresco was the Triumph of Death, work of Buonamico Buffalmacco.
Unfortunately, in July 1944 a bomb splinter caused a fire, which burned the wooden beams of the roof of the Graveyard, which collapsing caused extensive damage to the works preserved and the roof in lead, fused by heat, damaged frescoes in an inexorable way.
From the loss of almost all the frescoes, remain today only fragments of which one may admire the "SINOPIE", i.e. the drawings, discovered and recovered under original works and conserved in the nearby Museo delle Sinopie in Pisa.
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What to see in Pisa
One of the most famous tower in the world but much more
Please start reading Things to do in Pisa: The main attractions in Pisa and in the surrounding area
Pisa Miracles' Square
The leaning tower of Pisa is "just" one of a majestic and evocative context, set in one of the most beautiful historical scenarios in the world: the Pisa Miracles' Square (World Heritage site).
In the extraordinary context of Square of Miracles in Pisa, near the leaning tower and Baptistery..the Pisa Cathedral
The Pisa Baptistery, devoted to St. John the Baptist, stands in front of the west facade of the Cathedral.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, one of the most famous and visited Tower in the world.
Monumental Cemetery of Pisa
The Monumental Cemetery of Pisa, In the miracle's square of Pisa, near the leaning tower, the Cathedral and the Baptistery.