Santa Maria della Spina

Church in Pisa

Santa Maria Della Spina Pisa
Pixabay / Dimitris Vetsikas

The Church of Santa Maria della Spina, situated on the left bank of the Arno, is perhaps one of Pisa’s most renowned and charming smaller churches. Initially, it was a small oratory located right on the riverbank, but due to significant foundation damage, it underwent reconstruction in 1871. The church was meticulously dismantled stone by stone and then reconstructed at a higher location.

This exquisitely ornate Gothic church derives its name from its possession of a thorn (spina) believed to be from Christ’s crown of thorns, which was brought to Pisa from the Holy Land. The west front of the church is adorned with two doorways and three distinctive gables, each featuring a small rose window. On the south side, a series of arches encloses doorways and windows, while higher up, a niche houses figures of Christ and the Apostles.

The building is adorned with tabernacles containing statues, some of which have been replaced with copies, with the original pieces now displayed in the Museo Nazionale. Additionally, the original Madonna del Latte is also housed in the museum, while a replica graces the interior of the church.

The church is currently the location of temporary art exhibitions.

The Santa Maria della Spina appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pisa!

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Visiting Santa Maria della Spina


Open only on special occasions or exhibitions



Address: Santa Maria della Spina, Lungarno Gambacorti, Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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