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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

San Gerardo Sagredo


A little bell tower on the back~


San Gerardo Sagredo

As far as I know, the only way to visit this church is to go to Mass, though my friend Cubbies thinks she went to a concert here some years ago.

Mass times:

6:30 pm daily
8 and 10 Sundays

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Comments (13)

Andrew:

The architecture is a bit uncompromising, isn't it? I hope the interior has more to offer. I'm a bit of a stick in the mud with 60s stuff. I grew up then so I find it hard to stand back and appreciate it.

Interesting building!

Wow, I never knew about this church. That will perhaps teach me to open my eyes wider! I think it's worth going to a mass when I'm next in Venice, to see the inside.

Thank you.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, interesting to learn about a new church in Venice. I enjoyed learning about this venetian saint for whom this church is dedicated to. I also wonder about the story behind those hand prints. Very interesting.

Thanks so much for sharing your photos.

Andrew, "uncompromising" is a great adjective and very kind too! I know what you mean about 60s architecture. I'd seen photos of this church and actually ended up liking it more in person than I expected. It just seemed to work as the central focus of this neighborhood, in a strange way.

Mama Zen, thanks!

Yvonne, I'm very curious about the interior too and wanted to go to Mass but ran out of time. If you go, please report back!

Thanks Kathy. The hand prints are so intriguing! For some reason, I don't think they are graffiti but just can't figure out why they are there.

sandrac:

I also love that description of the architecture as "uncomprising." That summarizes it very well!

Those hand prints are very intriguing....I wonder what they mean, and why no one has whitewashed them over?

I just discovered your blog and was just on the Giudecca a couple of weeks ago--you've now given me good reasons to go back (as if I needed extra ones).

I'm living in Venice now w/ my wife & our son & your site is a great resource and inspiration. (The other day I visited the Church of Sant' Elena near where we live. I'll have to look up whether you've written about it.)

Sandra, the fact that no one has whitewashed them makes me wonder if they are meant to be there. The architect's hands, perhaps, though that seems weird. A mystery!

Steven, thanks for your comment; I'm glad you found my blog. I'll check yours out too. How wonderful to be living in Venice. I have visited the church of Sant' Elena but haven't written about it yet. When I was there a couple of years ago, it was covered with scaffolding both inside and out. I went inside but wasn't able to see much of the art. I'm curious to know how much progress they've made on the restoration.

Hi Annie,
Thanks for posting the picture of the church. I was just reading that Gerardo Sagredo was killed by being stuffed inside a barrel spiked with large nails and pushed down from the hills of Buda all the way down to the Danube. Perhaps the hand prints are just an allegory to the hands pushing the barrel. Just a crazy idea!
By the way, the picture of the angel of San Marco is a true finding. Thanks.

Daniel, thanks for your comments. Your theory about the handprints makes as much sense as anything else. :) Poor San Gerardo.

I ordered a used copy of an old world heritage guidebook and that's where I found the angel. I was excited to see it!

Anne:

Too bad you didn't get inside. Must confess the exterior doesn't do a lot for me either, but am really curious to know what it looks and feels like on the inside. It looks like an intriguing window arrangement on the sunny side, so am envisioning shafts of light streaming across a great open space!

hhgygy:

Some anachronism to be cleared:

to bring Christianity to Hungary and was martyred in Budapest

Budapest existed as such only since 1873

Thank you hhgygy! History is more complicated than we remember sometimes. Cheers, Annie

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 27, 2011 3:51 PM.

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