Pisa, Camposanto Sarcophagi: In Pictures: The North West Tuscan Way, Tour 3

Tour 3 / The North West Tuscan Way / Pisa, Camposanto Sarcophagi / In Pictures 

Pisa Map from space, by Google

p r e s e n t s

North West Tuscany for the independent tourist

I N   P I C T U R E S

Camaiore Map Google Earth 2

Pisa, from space, Google Earth.

Pisa, from space, Google Earth.

Pisa, from space, Google Earth.

Tour 3: Pisa, The Camposanto

Part Three: The Sarcophagi

Ok, so we have reached the third and final Camposanto installment, and a quite fascinating one at that.    Far from gazing up all the time, as with The Statuary, or straight down – as when we stared at The Gravestones... the rectangular Sarcophagi are all nicely, neatly arranged at intervals around the entire building.

Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

Vying with bench space along the walls they make for an interesting, nay at times mesmerizing interlude as you gaze deeply into the heart and soul of Roman culture.       Remember too that these highly prestigious tombs were hand carved (of course!) from a single block of stone.   No mean feat I can tell you.     Even with today’s tools this would represent a Herculean task, but with the tip-tip-tip, tap-tap-tap of a million hammer blows ringing down through the ages these immense solid stone sculptures do indeed represent a great deal of blood, sweat and toil.               You’ll see them all neatly laid along the walls on either side as you traverse the immense hallways.     Don’t forget to take a peek inside a few of them by the way – I think you may begin to appreciate just what I mean about toil.                  Click here  to read my views, thoughts, opinions and musings as expressed in the real time format of my ‘On the Loose’  dispatches.               Otherwise just keep on scrolling and the next time we meet we’ll leave Pisa behind and head to the hills to visit a genuine gem of a Tuscan Village of Art.

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Camposanto Monumentale    The Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumentale (“monumental cemetery”) or Camposanto Vecchio (“old cemetery”), is a historical edifice at the northern edge of the Cathedral Square in Pisa, Italy.”Campo Santo” can be literally translated as “holy field”, because it is said to have been built around a shipload of sacred soil from Golgotha, brought back to Pisa from the Fourth Crusade by Ubaldo de’ Lanfranchi, archbishop of Pisa in the 12th century. A legend claims that bodies buried in that ground will rot in just 24 hours.        The construction of this huge, oblong Gothic cloister was begun in 1278 by the architect Giovanni di Simone. He died in 1284 when Pisa suffered a defeat in the naval battle of Meloria against the Genoans. The cemetery was only completed in 1464.   It seems that the building was not meant to be a cemetery, but a church called Santissima Trinità (Most Holy Trinity), but the project changed during the construction.   The outer wall is composed of 43 blind arches. Most of the tombs are under the arcades, although a few are on the central lawn. The inner court is surrounded by elaborate round arches with slender mullions and plurilobed tracery.           The cemetery has three chapels. The oldest ones are the chapel Ammannati (1360); and the chapel Aulla, were there is an altar made by Giovanni della Robbia in 1518. In this chapel we can see also the original lamp that Galileo Galilei saw, in his time, inside the cathedral and that was shortly replaced by the bigger one we can see now. The last chapel was Dal Pozzo, commissioned by archbishop of Pisa Carlo Antonio Dal Pozzo in 1594; it has an altar dedicated to St. Jerome and a little dome. In this chapel in 2009 were transfered the relics of the Cathedral: the relics include among the others eleven of the twelve Apostles, two fragments of the True Cross, a thorn from the Crown of Thorns of Christ and a small piece of the dress of the Virgin Mary.           The walls were once covered in frescoes; the first were applied in 1360, the last about three centuries later.           On 27 July 1944, a bomb fragment from an Allied raid started a fire. Due to all the water tanks being controlled, the fire could not be put out in time, and it burnt the wooden rafters and melted the lead of the roof. The destruction of the roof severely damaged everything inside the cemetery, destroying most of the sculptures and sarcophagi and compromising all the frescoes.                                      After World War II, restoration work began. The roof was restored as closely as possible to its pre-war appearance and the frescoes were separated from the walls to be restored and displayed elsewhere. The restored frescoes that still exist are gradually being transferred to their original locations in the cemetery, inside the cemetery, to restore the Campo Santo’s pre-war appearance.” wikipedia

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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and now

the slideshow

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The Sarcophagi, Camposanto, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

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next

The North West Tuscan Way: In Pictures

The North West Tuscan Way, Map 3 Pisa, Google Earth,

Casoli, Tuscany, Italy

Tour 4: Casoli, Tuscan Village of Art

c l i c k   here

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Thanks for visiting martincooney.com

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