Churches, Venice

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    S. Maria della Salute is a landmark.

    by breughel Updated Oct 22, 2013

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    La Salute from Grand Canal
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    Santa Maria della Salute is my favoured church in Venice, more than San Marco for a very practical reason: during my last two visits to Venice the queue at San Marco was so long that I abandoned any hope of getting inside, while at the "Salute" there was no queue and I could sit quietly on the steps of the square in front of the basilica with a splendid view on the Bacino di San Marco. Even better, there are no pigeons here.

    The architectural reason for liking this church is obvious. In 1630 the architect Baldassare Longhena ((1598-1682)), then only 32 years old, was selected to design a new church dedicated to the Virgin Mary after Venice was delivered from the plague that had killed about a third of its population.
    Longhena realized a work of a great beauty and homogeneity only completed in 1687, after his death. Santa Maria della Salute achieves perfection in the baroque style which is equalled by no other church of Venice.

    The technical exploit is stunning, 1.106.657 piles of oak, alder and larch were needed for the foundations. On top of these 4 m long piles was build a platform called "zatterone" of oak and larch beams fixed together on which the actual stone construction could start.

    The centrepiece of the structure is the church's great altar. The altar is sculpted with images of the Virgin and Child saving Venice from horrors of the plague epidemic of 1630.
    The structure of the church is based on an octagonal space with six chapels radiating from the ambulatory. The floors in Santa Maria della Salute are decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles. To preserve these tiles people are not admitted in the central space (photo 4).

    S. Maria della Salute is a landmark of Venice and has often been represented in paintings by Canaletto and Guardi (XVIIIth), and later Turner, Monet, Boudin, Pissaro, Sargent from the Grand Canal side or from de Bacino di San Marco.

    Open daily: 9 -12 and 15 - 18h. Times may be subject to variation depending on services.
    Free

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    Vivaldi Baptised: Chiesa San Giovanni Battisti

    by basstbn Updated Mar 27, 2013

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    Another of those significant sites we have found by accident - it pays to keep your head up and read plaques on the sides of buildings in Europe.

    We were just wandering, getting lost, seeing the other Venice, the one away from the hordes of tourists. Needing a coffee and restroom break, we stopped at a typical neighborhood bar. While waiting for Nancy to finish, I looked around the quiet little piazza and saw a plaque on the little church. My command of the Italian language is not great, but I could make out that it was conveying the message that famed Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi was born in this parish and baptized in this very church (1678).

    We did not enter the church.

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    Basilica of St Mary of Health

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jan 21, 2013

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    Basilica of St Mary of Health
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    The Basilica of St Mary of Health stands on a narrow finger of land between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water.
    Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.

    You can watch my 3 min 21 sec Video Venice part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.

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    Scalzi

    by solopes Updated Sep 5, 2012

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    Scalzi - Venice - Italy
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    The "Chiesa degli Scalzi", or Church of the Barefoot Ones, is named after the Barefoot Carmelites monks who have been in this church for more than three centuries.

    Built between 1660 and the early 18th Century, the church, facing the grand canal, stands as one of Venice's most beautifully and ornately designed churches, with a façade designed by Giuseppe Sardi.

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    Salute

    by solopes Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    Salute - Venice
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    Religious promises or thanks giving, are, in many occasions, the basic reason for some artistic monuments. Batalha, where I got married is my closer example, and Santa Maria della Salute is another one.

    In 1630, facing the plague, the Venetian Senate promised to build a church in honor of the Virgin Mary to stop the plague .

    The plague was really stopped, and the Venetian authorities honored their promise having built the church in Dorsoduro, by the Grand Canal.

    Baldassare Longhena, the architect, conceived a octagonal basilica, combining elements of Venetian Byzantine architecture with domes inspired by St. Peter's in Rome.

    The sights from the Grand Canal are wonderful, and visiting it's easy and free, with a vaporetto stop just in face of it.

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    Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

    by zadunajska8 Written Feb 19, 2012

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    Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari
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    The Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is huge and dwarfs the surrounding area of San Polo. The feeling of enormity continues inside with gargantuan columns and vast open spaces. It's also very dark in here which creates a strange kind of atmosphere.

    The Basilica is home to some wonderful works of art including masterpieces by Titian and Bellini, and a statue by Donatello of John the Baptist. As you enter the nave you will however be most struck by the Monument to Titian on your right and the tomb of Canova on your left.

    Unfortunately they don't allow photography inside the church and because it occupies almost all of the square around it, it's hard to get decent pictures of the outside.

    The church is part of the Chorus Pass scheme for entry charges.

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    San Giacomo di Rialto

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 19, 2012

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    San Giacomo di Rialto
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    This lovely little church filled with the heavy smell of incense is to be found just a few steps from the San Polo end of the famous Ponte Rialto. Allegedly, the first church to stand on this site dated to the 5th century and so it would make it Venice's oldest church. The present church, however dates from the 11th or 12th century but underwent a major restoration at the start of the 17th century.

    the most striking feature is the huge 24 hour clock which has been famously bad at keeping time since it was installed back in 1410. The day we visited it did seem to be at least roughly on time though!

    The small church seems happy to welcome in some of the hoardes of tourists who pass their door and ask only for €0.50 as a donation towards the upkeep of the building. It is a very small church inside and will only take a few minutes to look inside but it is charming enough to make it well worth while, despite not really having any single feature that is the big draw. I guess it's just the overall effect sometimes with these little, old churches that makes them rewarding.

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    Santi Giovanni e Paolo

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    Santi Giovanni e Paolo
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    In the local dialect the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Saints John and Paul) is better known as San Zanipolo.

    This huge church is home to the tombs of no less than 25 Venetian Doges and many of these tombs and memorials are outstanding works of art, such as the Tomb of Pietro Mocenigo by Pietro Lombardo shown in one of my photographs.

    The staff of the Basilica are very welcoming of visitors and along with your admission charge of €2.50 you get a plan of the basilica which gives some basic idea of what you are looking at despite being only in Italian.

    In the nave of the basilica you are left to feel dwarfed by the sheer size of the space and the collosal pillars rising towards the roof.

    Highlights of the basilica include the Capella del Rosario with it's impressive paintings by Paolo Veronese, the baroque high altar and the foot of St Catherine of Siena (other bits of her were in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome, which we visited the previous September).

    In this great church they do allow photography as long as you don't use a flash.

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    Santa Maria dei Miracoli

    by zadunajska8 Written Feb 12, 2012

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    Santa Maria dei Miracoli
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    The church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli takes you by surprise as you round the corner and get confronted with the elegant and spectacular marble facade. The campo around the church is actually very small and so it's hard to stand back and take in all of the beauty of this church's exterior without falling into the canal behind, but it's worth taking the risk.

    The church gets it's name from the painting by Nicolo di Pietro of the virgin Mary which it was built to house. This image was painted in 1409 and was originally intended to be placed outside a house but then in 1480 people started to associate 'miracles' with it. The donations that followed allowed the building of the church which was designed by Pietro Lombardo.

    The inside of this church was my favourite small church in Venice. It's a beautiful parade of marble and sculpture making great use of natural light fro dramatic effect. The image for which the church was built is on the high altar.

    Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the church.

    There is a small admission charge to the church, or it is part of the Chorus Pass scheme which works out as good value if you will be visiting a number of Venice's churches.

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    Santa Maria Formosa

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    Santa Maria Formosa
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    This church in a lovely square has a rather unusual name being dedicated to una Madonna formosa or a 'buxom Madonna'. Apparently this well-endowed lady appeared to St Magnus in the 7th century (the more sceptical of us may believe this to be after a rather good party!) and told him to follow a white cloud and build a church wherever it settled. And so the church of Santa Maria Formosa was born.

    The present building was actually completed in 1492 and takes it's greek cross plan from an earlier 11th Centurt byzantine Church on the site.

    There is an admission charge to go in, but the church is part of the Chorus Pass group of Venetian churches. Buying a Chorus Pass gives you one admission to each of 16 Venetian Churches in the following year.

    The interior of the church is interesting for it's blend of Byzantine cupolas and Renaissance decor.

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    San Moise

    by zadunajska8 Written Feb 12, 2012

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    San Moise
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    The Church of San Moise is covered in grimy statues and is a Baroque overload. It's either a clumsy mess or a masterpiece and will depend entirely on your personal opinion. Personally, I quite liked it. Inside is nothing really special except the tombstone of John Law, a Scottish financier who founded the Compaigne d'Occident to develop the Mississippi Valley and then lost everything in the notorious bursting of the South Sea Bubble in 1770. He fled to Venice and lived the rest of his life off of his earnings from gambling at the nearby Ridotto.

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    San Zaccaria

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    San Zaccaria
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    San Zaccaria has been rebuilt many times and this can be seen from outside. You can still see the red brick of the older part of the church and the marble facade of the newer church from Campo di San Zaccaria. This marble facade apparently shows a transition from gothic to renaissance architecture and so is one of the most important in Venice. The lower Gothic half is by Antonio Gambello whilst the upper half is by Mauro Coducci and was added after Gambello's death in 1481.

    Inside the church (photography allowed, but no flash) it is quite dark which makes it quite an atmospheric place with some interesting works of art including Bellini's Madonna and child with saints .

    The 'museum' for which there is a €1 entry fee comprises the chapels of St Athanasius and San Tarasio. The Cappella di San Tarasio has some lovely vault frescos by Andrea del Castagno and gothic polyptychs by Antonio Vivarini. Steps from the chapel lead down to the 9th century crypt which usually has a fair bit (an inch or two) of water in it, but the pathway is raised above the floor level slightly so as to avoid to much wet feet! The crypt contains the remains of eight Doges of Venice.

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    San Giovanni in Bragora

    by zadunajska8 Written Feb 12, 2012

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    San Giovanni in Bragora
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    The little church of San Giovanni in Bragora in the Castello area of Venice is a small and intimate little church with some superb paintings inside. This was also the church in which the Venetian composer Vivaldi was baptised. The original font along with a copy of his baptismal documents are on display inside.

    The square outside the church, Campo Bandiera e Moro, was also a pleasant and unusually quiet(for Venice) space.

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    Sestiere San Polo - San Giulian

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 14, 2011

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    San Giulian
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    The church of San Giulian, commonly called San Zulian in Venetian dialect, is situated on the Merceria, the main shopping street of Venice. Originally it is structure from the 9th century but underwent a number of reconstructions. The front side was constructed by the great architect Jacopo Sansovino in a shape of flattered classical temple facade. It is parish church of San Salvador, or contrada as parish is called in the local dialect. The bronze bust of Jacopo Sansovine is above the portal.
    The interiors is rich of valuable artistic works by famous medieval painters and sculptors, Paolo Veronese, Jacopo Palma il Giovane and Girolamo Campagna.

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    Sestiere Dorsoduro - Santa Maria del Rosario

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 14, 2011

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    Santa Maria del Rosario
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    The church of Santa Maria del Rosario is commonly known as I Gesuiti, but it has nothing to do with the Jesuit Order. The order of Gesuiti, also called "I poweri Gesuiti" (poor jesuits) was founded in Siena, back in the 14th century, but they acquired welth from the privileges granted by the state, including monopoly of the destilation of wine.
    Santa Maria del Rosario is an 18th century Dominican church made in classical style with Rococo decorations which are preserved in original form and intact.
    Do not mix it with the church of Jesuit Order which is located in Sestiere of Cannaregio.

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