San Rocco Church Pisa
Address, opening times and admission
Address: Piazza dei Cavalieri, 6 – Pisa.
History and description
The Chiesa di San Rocco was constructed where the San Pietro in Cortevecchia Church used to be. As the name of this 11th century church indicates, the political centre of Pisa used to be near this “Old Court”.
The present church was constructed in the early 17th century. Grand Duke Ferdinand I de’ Medici hired Cosimo Pugliani to be the architect. The church was run by the Order of St. Rochus.
The San Rocco Church and the San Sisto Church behind it are built back to back. The sacristies of the two churches are even connected to each other.
The church itself is completely incorporated in the palace of the order. Nowadays the top floor of the building is used by University students.
The single nave church has two side chapels and a square apse. A triumphal arch separates the slightly raised presbytery from the nave. The two doors flanking the arch are crowned by aediculas containing relics. The one on the right leads to the presbytery, from where a hallway leads to the San Sisto Church.
What to see
There are some 13th century frescoes, together with others that were painted between the 18th and 19th centuries.
There is a wooden effigy of the Holy Face.
The main altar is decorated with a 16th century crucifix and a polychrome terracotta Madonna and Child.
Between the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, Cosimo I de’ Medici used the building as the seat of the then only recently founded Order of the Knights of Santo Stefano. Giorgio Vasari completely reconstructed the church.
Tra la fine del XVI e l’inizio del XVII secolo, la piazza fu scelta da Cosimo I de’ Medici come sede rappresentativa del neocostituito Ordine dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano e totalmente riprogettata da Giorgio Vasari.
Giovanni Antonio Sogliani painted the “St. Rochus” altar piece.