The San Zeno Abbey in Pisa existed as early as the 11th century. In the 12th century it was run by the Camaldolese monks. The facade shows influences of both Romanesque and Islamic architecture. After a long restoration the church was reopened in the year 2000.
San Zeno Abbey Pisa
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Via San Zeno, 10 – 56127 Pisa. Tel. +39 050 553606. Opening hours: Only during mass. Admission: Free. The church is sometimes used for echibitions.
History and description
The area where the San Zeno Church is located used to be called alle grotte, which alluded to the presence of a several Roman ruins.
It was probably built on top of an already existing pagan structure. The earliest documents referring to the Abbazia di San Zeno were written in 1029. In those days it was a Benedictine church. Later the Camaldolese Order took over.
The facade is preceded by a portico supported by pillars and a central column. The level above the portico is characterized by bifora’s and some Romanesque elements.
Its interior consists of three naves, with reused Roman capitols and fragments of medieval wall paintings.
Behind the church the Porta San Zeno can be seen. In the 13th century this city gate also used to be known as the Porta Monetaria, because it stood near the Mint. In reality there was another Porta Monetaria further south. This gat is now cemented shut, however.