“On the other fide of the Duomo, is the Campo Santo a great square place cloistered about with a low Cloister curiously painted. Its called the Campo Santo, because therein is conserved the Holy Earth brought from Hirrusalem in 50 Gallies of this Republick,an 1224: These Gallies were sent by the Republick of Pisa, to succour the Emperour Ænobarbe, in the Holy Land, but hearing of his death when they came thither, they returned home again loaden with the earth of the Holy Land , of which they made this Campo Santo.”

Voyage to Italy, 1670 

The Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumental (“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 Lanfranchi, archbishop of Pisa in the 12th century. A legend claims that bodies buried in that ground will rot in just 24 hours. The burial ground lies over the ruins of the old baptistery of the church of Santa Reparata, the church that once stood where the cathedral now stands.  The term “monumental” serves to differentiate it from the later-established urban cemetery in Pisa.

— Wikipedia.


Referring entries

Further reading

  • Wikipedia entry on