The arsenal, which was famous in Dante's day, received its first enlargement in 1304, when, on the design of Andrea Pisano, new building sheds and the rope walk or Tana were erected.
The building, erected in the Italian Gothic style between 1278 and 1283, by Giovanni Pisano, is of special interest chiefly for its famous frescoes.
In the year 1278 they had entrusted the erection of their fine Campo Santo to Niccola and Giovanni Pisano, by whom the architectural part of it was completed towards the end of the century.
When the Genoese appeared off Meloria the Pisans were lying in the river Arno at the mouth of which lay Porto Pisano the port of the city.
In the 13th century the Pisans tried to attract a population to the spot, but it was not till the 14th that Leghorn became a rival of Porto Pisano at the mouth of the Arno, which it was destined ultimately to supplant.