Parish Church of Santo Stefano at Pisignano

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The parish church of Santo Stefano is a half-kilometer from Pisignano, nine kilometers from Cervia. It is among the best-preserved churches in the province of Ravenna from the 8-9th centuries. During excavations carried out in 1912, Roman bricks and a tombstone fragment were found. These discoveries, as well as a sacred arc with a relief of the god Mithras, now supporting a holy water font, suggest that the church was built atop a pagan temple. The tombstone is now in the archiepiscopal museum in Ravenna. We do not have specific data about the church’s construction. The earliest document mentioning it is from 977. After 1000, it is mentioned in several documents. Initially dependant on the city of Cesena, it definitively entered the diocese of Cervia around 1340.

The brick church has small dimensions and is well proportioned, displaying simple and pure architectonic lines. The exterior is bare; the uniformity of the façade interrupted only by four pilaster strips, two on the corners and two on the sides, and by an oculus aligned with the central portal. A fragment with a cross and a hand giving a benediction is located on the south side of the building (12th century). These crosses were located along the streets to indicate to pilgrims that a hospice was nearby.
The three-aisled church is divided by three round arches. The apse is decorated by 16th-century frescoes representing God giving a blessing and the Virgin among saints, attributed to the Ravenna painter Luca Longhi (1507-1580). The apse, at the beginning of the 16th century, was externally polygonal, as was often the case with the churches of Ravenna, and not circular as it is today. The square bell tower was demolished and reconstructed. In fact, in 1512, the whole church was destroyed. It was rebuilt with the recuperated material for the first time in 1912 and later in 1979-1982. The restorations eliminated the Baroque interventions that had excessively weighed down the original structure, allowing us to enjoy the little proto-Romanesque church in all its simple beauty.


Additional Info

  • Address: via Crociarone 12, Pisignano di Cervia, 48015, Ravenna
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0544 951587
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Periodi di apertura annuale

    Orario feriale Estivo: dalle 9.00 alle 12.30 e dalle 16.00 alle 19.30 -- Invernale: dalle 10.00 alle

    12.30 e dalle 15.30 alle 19.30

    Orario festivo dalle 9.00 alle 12.30

    Chiusura settimanale lunedì mattina e giovedì mattina

    Tariffa d'ingresso ingresso gratuito

  • 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 Tuesday, 14 February 2012 21:03