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January 2011 Archives

January 5, 2011

Inside the hospital

A few other scenes from inside the Ospedale Civile. What a fascinating place. Cloisters, cats, vere da pozzo, mosaics, a church, and a Madonna...so many of my favorite things. I didn't take a photo but there's even a bar in there which might be more unusual than the cats when compared to hospitals in the USA.


vera da pozzo

At first, I thought she was holding Mardi Gras beads but when I got closer, I realized they are rosaries. :)




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January 7, 2011

PhotoHunt: Free Week


This week's theme is "Free Week."

A theme-free week so I'm free to post a few more photos from my November trip to Venice. When I saw this theme, the Joni Mitchell song, "Free Man in Paris," popped into my head...a great song about the joys of travel, so it fits.

I was lucky to have a bunch of sunny, blue sky days while I was there. I took this one from the vaporetto (water bus). Feel free to click to enlarge so you can see the colors of that building.

blue sky

One of my favorite things to look for and photograph in Venice are the street shrines.

garden shrine

You never know what you will see in those canals....


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January 9, 2011

Another thing I missed...


Thanks to Bert for sending this photo of this gorgeous vera da pozzo in another cloister that I didn't find when I was roaming around the Ospedale Civile. What a beauty this one is...it even has a sculpture on top.

So now I've got the library and this on my "next time" list. I know that I'm not the only one who comes home from Venice and almost immediately starts planning the next trip. :)

January 10, 2011

Looking for church, found cats

Happy 2011 everyone!

As I mentioned on my “hard-to-find” post, it took me a long time to find the entrance to the church of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti, the church of the Ospedale Civile (public hospital) of Venice. The main door facing the canal is seldom open, so to visit this church, you need to enter from within the hospital complex and let me warn you, it’s a crazy maze in there. Very interesting though…parts of it are old and beautiful, parts of it look (and smell) more like a normal hospital, but there are lots of twists and turns. I had a general idea of where the church was but once I got into this place, I lost all sense of north/south/east/west. And so I wandered around for a long time looking for the church.

I walked in circles for a while, though I didn’t know it at the time, and I kept finding cloisters…at least four different ones. Then I was walking down a more normal looking hospital-type corridor and I passed a cat walking down the hall. A funny sight, for sure, even though I’d heard there was a cat colony living somewhere in the hospital complex but I wasn’t sure if they were still there. Then I passed this big room that looked like the hospital laundry….people were in there folding sheets on big tables with cats lounging around “helping” them. Then I came to this cloister with a huge vera da pozzo and a couple of cats sitting on it.

hospital cats

hospital cat

I'm not sure how many cats live here because a bunch of them ran and hid when I walked out into the cloister. A few of them did pose for photos. They look very well cared for, and it's a nice place for a cat colony with grass and trees and some old stone rubble for them to play on and hide in.

hospital cat

hospital cat

hospital cats

cat shelters

cloister rubble

hospital cat

hospital cat

Continue reading "Looking for church, found cats" »

January 11, 2011

Madonna Barcarola

Madonna Barcarola

I was SO excited when I stumbled across this shrine. I’d seen a photo of it in “I Capitelli di Venezia” and knew it was somewhere in the hospital complex but had no idea where. What a great shrine. It’s modern, of course, dated 1983, and is an image of the Madonna Barcarola who protects boatmen and sailors under her mantle, according to the Capitelli book, which makes her a relative of the Madonna della Misericordia, I guess?

The book doesn’t identify the artist but does say that it’s a fresco. It almost looks like it was done with colored chalk by a precocious child. It's just so funky - I love it!

Madonna Barcarola

Continue reading "Madonna Barcarola" »

January 13, 2011

San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti

San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti

So as I said, it took me a while to find this church but I finally did and even better, I found it open!

In the 13th century, there was a hospice and refuge for lepers in Dorsoduro (Lazarus is the patron saint of lepers). The colony was later moved to a lagoon island and then moved back to a hospice in this part of Castello adjacent to the monastery of San Zanipolo, the huge Gothic church that’s nearby. The original oratory was replaced by the church we see today, which was built at the end of the 16th century and consecrated in 1636.

San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti became one of several churches in Venice that provided musical education for impoverished young girls. In fact, the church has an atrium or vestibule designed to block out street/canal noise during the girls’ recitals, and there are also singing galleries inside the church itself.

San Lazzaro

There's lots of interesting stuff in this church, including two pretty good paintings - a Christ on the Cross by Veronese and St. Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins by Tintoretto. Both came from the demolished church of the Incurabili. The colors and textures of the dresses in the Tintoretto are nice; here it is:




Continue reading "San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti" »

January 14, 2011

PhotoHunt: Shadow


This week's theme is "Shadow."

This theme was challenging for me; I had too many possibilites and had a tough time narrowing it down.

Here's one from Venice~


And here in NC, a bike and bike rack~


bike rack

Posting this one from my yard because I heard on the news that this week was the first time in history that there was snow on the ground in 49 out of 50 states in the US~

charlie brown xmas tree

And here's my sweet orange cat, LuLu~


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January 17, 2011

Archangel Gabriel

vera da pozzo

I’m always on the look-out for angels as I walk around Venice. They aren’t quite as easy to find as shrines or images of the Madonna so I’m happy when I find one. These carvings of Archangel Gabriel are on a vera da pozzo in the courtyard of Palazzo Gabrielli. Both the palace and the well-head are 14th century Gothic; the palace belonged to the noble Venetian family Gabrielli (the archangel was their patron saint).

archangel gabriel

archangel gabriel

There’s also a relief of Gabriel on the façade of the palazzo.


Continue reading "Archangel Gabriel" »

January 19, 2011

Sant' Eufemia

Sant' Eufemia

There are seven churches and two oratories on Giudecca but only a couple that are open on a regular basis...this one, and the much larger and more famous church of the Redentore. If you're going to visit the Redentore, I encourage you to walk up the fondamenta and visit Sant' Eufemia too. I actually like it better...it's not as magnificent as the Palladio church, but there's just something very special about these small parish churches. This is a sweet one.

I spent most of a day in November walking around Giudecca and had a fabulous time. It's mostly residential (and there are LOTS of shrines!) with many charming corners and views. Giudecca is part of the sestiere of Dorsoduro but you have to take the vaporetto from the Zattere to get there.

This church was founded in 865 and dedicated to four female saints (Eufemia, Dorotea, Tecla, and Erasma) - virgin martyrs from Aquilea who worshipped with San Marco when he visited there. The church faces west, common with early churches, and even though it’s been renovated, restored and remodeled a number of times over the centuries, it still has the design of a Veneto-Byzantine basilica. Older decorations such as the 11th century columns are a nice contrast to the more “modern” stucco and frescoes added in the 18th century. A harmonious and lovely space. It reminds me of San Nicolo dei Mendicoli (though San Nicolo is hard to beat when it comes to magical small churches).

Sant' Eufemia

Sant' Eufemia

This church has a wonderful painting, San Rocco and the Angel, painted in 1480 by Bartolomeo Vivarini. The Vivarini were a family of early Renaissance artists who were from Murano and descended from glass blowers. Antonio and Bartolomeo were brothers, their brother-in-law Giovanni d'Alemagna was part of their workshop, and Antonio’s son Alvise became an artist too. They aren’t as well-known or regarded as the Bellini family but I always enjoy seeing their work.

San Rocco and the Angel

Sant' Eufemia

The façade faces a canal and when I arrived in the morning, the floor was covered with an inch or two of water (acqua alta) and I couldn’t go in. I came back a couple of hours later, and the water had receded and I was able to visit. Even though the acqua alta was mild compared to my December 2008 trip, it did happen several times, and I visited two churches that had water inside (the other was San Giacomo dall’ Orio and I had to wait until later to visit that one too).

Sant' Eufemia

Continue reading "Sant' Eufemia" »

January 21, 2011

PhotoHunt: Hands


This week's theme is "Hands."

A few carved-in-stone hands seen on the streets of Venice. I was surprised how many of these I had.

We did this theme a couple of years ago; my first take on this theme was more colorful and less stony than this one. :)

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.





You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


January 23, 2011


Ahh Venice

January 25, 2011

Pink Umbrella

pink umbrella

A large neighborhood shrine I found when I spent the day on Giudecca. I like the letter "M" in the metalwork.The holy image inside this one is a colorful Pieta tableau. The pink umbrella is a nice touch too.




January 27, 2011

San Gerardo Sagredo

San Gerardo Sagredo

So we’re still on Giudecca and this is a very unique church, built in the 20th century, no less, making it the newest church on the Venetian block. It’s on an islet called Sacca Fisola, a relatively recent addition to Venice made of marshland reclaimed and filled-in to build modern housing. At first, I had to wonder why they felt the need to build a new church when they’ve got so many sitting around deconsecrated and unused, but it makes sense that the residents of this neighborhood would want their own parish church.

The church is dedicated to a Venetian saint who lived from 980-1046, a bishop who left his native Venice to bring Christianity to Hungary and was martyred in Budapest. He’s now a patron saint of Hungary and is also revered in Venice too; there are a number of paintings of him around Venice in other churches.

The church was designed by architect Renato Renosto; work began in 1961 and the church was consecrated in 1963. The main altar has a large painting of "Resurrection of Christ and the Communion of Saints" by Venetian painter Ernani Costantini (1922-2007), an artist who has paintings in other churches in Venice too, including Sant’ Agnese and Madonna dell’ Orto.

The church was closed, but the neighborhood was interesting with a number of street murals. I’ll post photos of those soon.

San Gerardo Sagredo

The cornerstone of this church has these mysterious hand-prints next to it. Are they graffiti or are they meant to be there?

San Gerardo Sagredo

San Gerardo Sagredo

Continue reading "San Gerardo Sagredo" »

January 28, 2011

PhotoHunt: Standing


This week's theme is "Standing."

There used to be over 100 bell towers in Venice but some of them collapsed or were demolished; today there are 66 still standing. The most well-known is this one, the campanile di San Marco; it's the tallest in the city. This tower collapsed in 1902 and was rebuilt.

san marco

There's a golden statue of the archangel Gabriel standing on top of this tower, holding the annunciation lilies. Legend has it that when the tower collapsed, the angel statue survived and was found more or less intact in front of the doors to the basilica. I've often admired it from afar gleaming in the sunlight but had never gotten a good look at it until recently when I found this photo of it in an old book.

archangel gabriel, san marco

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

You can find more Photo Hunters and join the hunt here.


This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in January 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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