The abbey of San Zeno is located in Piazza San Zeno, at the north-eastern end of the center of Pisa, just inside the door of the same name.

History of the abbey

The present church was part of a Benedictine abbey dedicated to San Zeno and attested already in 1029. At that time it was located in the area known by the place-name “alle grotte”, due to the presence of ancient structures reused as building material. Behind the church there was the Porta San Zeno, called Porta Monetaria, as it was the closest door to the mint of the Republic of Pisa.

The church

The facade is characterized on the first floor by a characteristic open gallery, the only one in the historical center, decorated with Roman marbles and small arches with lozenges, and a large circular opening with the archbishop’s coat of arms. The interior, with a basilica plan and three naves, divided by columns with ancient capitals, preserves the imprint of the primitive construction, completed between the tenth and twelfth centuries.

The church, visible from the top of the Walls, is deconsecrated but is the location for weddings, shows and concerts.

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