Church of San Paolo a Ripa d' Arno Virtual Tour

San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno, also known as Duomo vecchio (old cathedral), is a church in Pisa and it is considered one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Tuscany. During the Second World War, this church, like many in Pisa, was damaged and during the restoration works the buildings in the back were demolished and the small Sant'Agata Chapel was restored to its original free-standing state.

The facade of the church has bichrome marble bands which re-use Roman stones. It was designed in the 12th century and completed in 14th, it has two corps with pilaster strips, blind arches, marble intarsias and three orders of loggias in the upper section.

The church of Saint Paul has a Latin cross plan with a nave and two aisles divided by columns, an apse and a dome on the crossing with the transept. It houses a 13th century Crucifix on panel, frescoes by Buonamico Buffalmacco, a Madonna with Saints by Turino Vanni and a 2nd century Roman sarcophagus used as medieval tomb. The relief on this sarcophagus was used as a model by Nicola Pisano and his pupil Arnolfo di Cambio.

Pisa 360°: Panoramas of the Church of Saint Paul


main facade of san paolo in pisa

Main Facade with bichrome marble bands

The Church was founded in the early ninth century and enlarged in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in Romanesque style similar to the Cathedral in Miracles Square. The exterior uses some Roman stones and inside is a second century Roman sarcophagus used as medieval tomb.

side view of saint paul in pisa

Side view of the romanesque Church of St. Paul

This church is also called Duomo Vecchio (Old Cathedral), due to the its functions up to the end of the Santa Maria Assunta church construction. Inside the church the there are a Romanesque sarcophagus of the 4th Century, the fresco paintings by Buffalmacco and the Madonna col Bambino by Turino Vanni.

Apse St. Agatha Chapel by Day

Apse and St. Agatha Chapel by Day

Behind the Church there is the St. Agatha Chapel, a small Romanesque octagonal chapel. It was connected to the church by edifices which were demolished after World War II. It is in brickwork with pilasters, arches including mullioned windows and an unusual pyramidal cusp. The interior houses remains of 12th century wall decorations.

prospetto principale di san paolo a ripa di notte

Main Facade of the Romanesque Church of St. Paul

Renovated after the bombing of 1943, the church of St. Paul has a Latin cross plan with a nave and two aisles divided by massive granite columns. It houses numerous testimonies of artists from Bufalmacco (Crucifix) to Turino Vanni (Madonna with Saints).

Apse and St. Agatha Chapel by Night

Apse and St. Agatha Chapel by Night

The building of the chapel is very similar to the Pisan church of the Santo Sepolcro in brick and covered with a pyramid. In each of the eight sides opening of the elegant three-light windows, above which a circular eye allows entry of a suffused light beam.

360° Panoramas by Simona Bartolomei


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