Theatre-Museum of La Commenda di Prè

“that none may feel a stranger in Genoa”

The Ospitale della Commenda di San Giovanni di Pre’ (Hospital of Commenda of St. John of Pre’) is a very old building : it dates back to 1180 and was built to give support and assistance to pilgrims and crusaders going to or coming from the Holy Land.

Since May 2009, after years of restoration work and archaeological research, the Commenda has housed a “theatre-museum” installment, where historical documents turn into pictures and shows thanks to collaboration between Mu.Ma. and Teatro del Suono (“Sound Theatre”).

Sophisticated technology makes it possible to animate the ancient walls, thus bringing the characters of old times back to life : Genoese people such as Friar Guglielmo, the builder of the construction, Caffaro or Benedetto Zaccaria, travellers who passed by Genoa, such as the Sephardi Jew Beniamino da Tudela or Arab geographer Al-Idrisi, Bishop Giacomo de Vitry, but also protagonists of the Crusades who fought against the Genoese or collaborated with them, in Syria and in Palestine, such as Baliano d’Ibelin or Saladin, the Kurdish-born Sultan who retook Jerusalem in 1187.

The strong message conveyed through the new arrangements is, None should feel a stranger in Genoa. The concept of interculture is at the core of the Theatre-Museum events, for Commenda is designed to give hospitality to pilgrims and travellers, thus connecting DIFFERENT peoples and cultures.

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