The building which today houses the Museo delle Sinopie was founded in the middle of 1200 as "New Hospital of Holy Spirit" and was intended to accommodate pilgrims, poor, sick and abandoned children; the complex, together with the Church of Santa Chiara, was placed to define the southern boundary of the Area around the Cathedral and other Monuments, starting to take the connotation of a real square.

Also called "Spedale della Misericordia" and finally "Santa Chiara" during the Medicean period, in a process of redefining of the space of the square, also the building was renovated according to the canons of the late Florentine Renaissance, by changing its aperture with the inclusion of new windows and doors framed in stone.

After its Hospital function, over half of 1900, the architectural structure houses the major preparatory drawings – the SINOPIE – found in earlier restorations of the building of the old Graveyard, severely damaged during the Second World War, beneath the frescoes.

The frescos, works of artists such as Buffalmacco, Andrea Bonaiuti, Antonio Veneziano and Spinello Aretino, Taddeo Gaddi, Piero di Puccio, Benozzo Gozzoli, which once covered the walls of the Graveyard were destroyed or suffered major damage during the 1944 allied bombardment, but the discovery came when they were removed to test the restoration and were found these preparatory drawings (incredibly preserved).

The SINOPIE after restoration were placed in the actual Museum; the exhibition, designed by several architects, is divided into a system of modular metal structures arranged on several levels.
In addition to the works of authors, there is an area dedicated to information supported by new technologies, multimedia and 3D graphics systems (which extends to visitors a more realistic orientation in 360° of the square and its monuments).

MUSEUM OPERA DEL DUOMO

The Palace, was once residence of the canons of the Cathedral, who resided there until the early 17th century, then it became Diocesan Seminary at Academy of fine arts, then convent, later Museum (opened in 1986), to expose the works of different epochs (initially placed to the Civic Museum, then became National Museum of San Matteo or scattered in the warehouses of the Opera where they had been closed because of the war); many of these works are by the author Giovanni Pisano.

The building is located in the Cathedral Square and takes its name from the governing body of the monumental complex (Opera del Duomo of Pisa); in addition to the works already mentioned, it houses the old Cathedral treasury, relics removed from sacred monuments (also for restoration and preservation reasons) and many other works which are no longer present in the various buildings of the monumental complex, but which required a public exhibition space..
Many "originals", such as the sculptures on the facade of the Cathedral, replaced by copies, are kept in this Museum.

At the origins of the Museum there is a project intended to make visible and intelligible the development of art of Pisa and in particular of medieval sculpture.

Inside the Museum it has also been created the Cathedral Treasure, a collection of silver and vestments, liturgical codes and a special section regarding antiquities of Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman, which were exhibited in the galleries of the Graveyard.

There are many reliquaries, some medieval, rescued from old fires, including one that (according to tradition) contained some stones of Golgotha and the San Ranieri's hermit dress, saint patron of Pisa.

From the cloister of the Museum it is possible to admire a splendid view of the leaning tower.

All the Monuments and Museums in the "Square" are managed and protected by the Opera Primaziale Pisana, of which we recommend visiting the website (for more information and details):

A body established around the year 1070 to oversee the building works of Monuments in Cathedral Square and today it still coordinates their promotion and enhancement.

By the seat it is possible to receive information about the times of various monuments of the square and to buy tickets for visits.

 

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