The San Giovanni di Pré or St. Giovanni di Pré complex, known as the Commenda di San Giovanni di Pré, is one of the historical gems of Genoa and is a medieval complex of two churches and an ancient hospital.
Is located the complex of St. Giovanni in the centre of Genoa on the square della La commenda (Piazza della Commenda), close to the station Principe (Genova Piazza Principe).
The current complex was built, beginning in 1180, on the site where previously existed a Church dedicated to the Holy sepulcher, built according to some sources, in the year 636, although the first documentary evidence refer to the 1098.
During its history the complex has undergone several reorganizations and reconstructions, the last of which was completed in 2009.
The complex consists of two Romanesque churches of San Giovanni di Pre, superimposed on one another, which constitute the bulk of architectural enclosure, and a three-storey building La commenda (commenda), that is, monastery and hospice (ground floor), which performs a dual function: marine station waiting for departure to the Holy Land and the hospital, originally intended for pilgrims, and then for the sick and destitute of Genoa.
The building La commenda and the lower Church of San Giovanni was the origins of the complex and are currently part of the Museum of Teatro della La commenda di Pre (Museoteatro della Commenda di Pré), where exhibitions, cultural meetings, congresses and gala dinners. La commenda with 2020/2021 year will be the national Museum of Italian emigration from the time of the unification of Italy until today.
The entrance to the ancient hospital and the lower Church of San Giovanni Evangelista di Pré is through the building of La commenda, in the portal of the portico, with the sea.
On the first floor of the hospital large room with columns and vaulted ceilings.
The interior of the lower Church of San Giovanni. Admission is free, through the room of an ancient hospital.
The upper Church of San Giovanni or the Church of Saint Giovanni di Pré (Chiesa di San Giovanni di Pré) still performs its direct functions, is one of the largest stone shrines among the European churches and features high bell tower with a square base having three rows of arched Windows and built together with the Church in the thirteenth or fourteenth century completed a pyramidal spire, surrounded by four turrets at the corners - typical Genoese Romanesque architecture.
The epigraph at the base of the bell tower indicates the start date of the works, "1180".
In 1731 the Church, previously used exclusively by the knights, was opened for public worship.
The entrance to the upper Church is on the West side of the complex.
The Church has three naves with cross vault of black stone, supported by massive columns with an arched ceiling.
Among the valuable works preserved in the upper Church, are paintings: Madonna with the saints John the Baptist and Brigida artist Giulio Benso; Madonna enthroned St John the painter Bernardo Castello with Dating "1599 year," etc.
The website of the Museum of Teatro della La commenda (opening hours, cost): museidigenova