The Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista at Brisighella (Pieve Tho)

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The church of San Giovanni Battista, commonly referred to as either “pieve in Ottavo” or “pieve Tho,” is without a doubt the most important monument of the territory of Brisighella and is a “national monument” of 1908. The name Tho, or Tottavo, derives from its position along the Via Emilia, located at the 8th mile from Faenza. The beautiful Romanesque church is the oldest parish church in the Lamone Valley. A papal bull of December 7, 1143 made the Plebs Sancti Johannis in Octavo the only existing parish in the area. According to legend, the parish was erected by a daughter of Theodosius, the empress Galla Placidia, on the foundations of a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. It is first mentioned in a document of Ravenna of 909. An earlier church was rebuilt in Romanesque style, which we can still see today. During restorations in 1934, the date of MC was found on a capital, which is possibly the year of its construction. The crypt and other subterranean spaces were found in 1951, however, the problem of the building’s date has not yet been resolved. Some historians date the building to the 9th century and consider it the link between the parish churches of Ravenna from the 6-10th centuries and the proto-Romanesque churches of the subsequent centuries.

The beautiful three-aisled church has exposed brick, with round arches on gray marble columns and one column of Verona. The columns all vary in thickness. The building is 13.2 meters wide by 26.6 meters long. The façade is composed largely of reused materials, including Roman bricks. 15th-century frescoes adorn the choir, with figures of the apostles Peter and Matthew, and the Virgin and Child.


Additional Info

  • Address: Via Della Pieve Del Tho' - 48013 Brisighella (RA)
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0546.81166
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Aperto domenica e festivi: Dal 15 Aprile al 15 Ottobre ore 15 -18  

    Dal 16 Ottobre al 14 Aprile  ore 15 -17

  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants:
Last modified on Friday, 13 April 2012 15:58