Opening time (summer)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 3.00-7.00 pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday : 10am-1pm / 3.00-7.00 pm
Pisa Tourist Office
The Church of Santa Maria della Spina was originally called Santa Maria del Ponte Nuovo, as it was built on the bank of the Arno at the height of the bridge – destroyed in the 15th century – that connected Via Santa Maria with today’s Via Sant’Antonio.
The church owes its name to the fact that it once guarded one thorn (spina) of Christ’s crown, which is currently located in the church of Santa Chiara (in Via Roma).
The façade in Gothic style, with numerous spires, is divided in the center by a pillar that holds a Madonna and Child between two angels.
The interior has a single hall, with walls divided by two-colored bands, typical of the Pisan Romanesque. The church preserves the tabernacle, which contained the relic of the Thorn, and a copy of the Madonna del Latte by Andrea and Nino Pisano (the original at the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo on the Lungarno Mediceo).
Because of the damage caused by the frequent flooding of the Arno, in 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt one meter higher than its initial position.
The church is currently the location of temporary art exhibitions.