/ / Campo Santo: photo description (Campo Santo)

Campo Santo: photo description (Campo Santo)

Campo Santo, also known as the camposanto Monumentale or Camposanto Vecchio ("old cemetery"), is a historic building located in the Northern part of the Cathedral square in Pisa. From Italian "Campo Santo" can be literally translated as "Holy field" - say, a building was erected on the land from mount Calvary, which in the 12th century in Pisa was brought by the Archbishop Ubaldo de Lanfranchi who participated in the Fourth Crusade. According to legend, buried in the earth the bodies decomposed in 24 hours. The cemetery itself lies on the ruins of the ancient baptistery, of the former part of the Church of Santa Reparata, once stood on the site of the current Cathedral of Pisa. In order to distinguish the Campo Santo was established later the city cemetery, it is often called the Camposanto, the Monumental - majestic cemetery.

The building of the Campo Santo is the fourth and last built in the Cathedral square on the site of the pre-existing cemetery. It came here a century after the arrival of the earth from Calvary. The construction of this huge oblong cloister in Gothic style was begun in 1238 by the architect Giovanni di Simone. He died in 1248, when Pisa lost to the Genoese in the naval battle of Meloria. The building of Campo Santo was only completed in 1464. Originally this magnificent building was conceived not as a cemetery but as a Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, but during construction the project has changed.

The outer wall of the Campo Santo is composed of 43 blind arches. It has two entrances: the right topped with a nice Gothic reliquary with the statue of the virgin Mary with child surrounded by four saints, is the work of the second half of the 14th century. Once this entrance was the main. Most of the graves are situated in arched niches in the wall, and only a few on the Central lawn. Patio Campo Santo surrounded by elaborately made circular arches with graceful mullions and tracery stained glass cover.

The cemetery has three chapels. The oldest (1360) is the name of Ligo Ammannati, a teacher at the University of Pisa, whose tomb is inside. In the chapel Aulla, you can see the altar of the 16th century, made by Giovanni della Robbia, and the lamp, which still existed when Galileo Galilee. Finally, the chapel Dal Pozzo, commissioned by Archbishop of Pisa Carlo Antonio Dal Pozzo in 1594, is decorated with a small dome. It was here in 2009 were moved the relics from the Cathedral, including two fragments of the true cross, a thorn from the crown of Thorns and a small piece of the apparel of the virgin Mary.

Once inside Campo Santo was a huge collection of Roman sarcophagi, and today there remained only 84 tombs located near the walls, as well as Roman and Etruscan sculptures and urns. Before the construction of the cemetery all the coffins were situated around the Cathedral, and then was collected in the center of the meadow. Lozino Carlo, a former curator of the Campo Santo, also had a collection of various ancient artifacts that have become part of a small archaeological Museum set up at the cemetery.

In July 1944, the bombing of the allied forces Pisa in the Campo Santo fire started. Since all the reservoirs at that time were under control, to extinguish the fire was not soon - it completely burned the wooden beams of the building, and melted the roof. The destruction of the roof severely damaged whatever was inside the cemetery, destroying most of the sculptures, sarcophagi and ancient frescoes. Immediately after the Second World war, restoration work began. The roof was restored as accurately as possible, and the surviving frescoes removed from the walls, was restored and later returned to the place. Also the building was moved drawings and sketches, today they can be seen in the Museum on the opposite side of Cathedral square.