This is the rear view of the humongous Mulino Stucky, a former flour mill on Giudecca that’s now a Hilton hotel. You’ve seen this place (you can’t miss it) if you’ve ever walked along the Zattere and admired the view of Giudecca across the canal. It was built in 1895 by a German architect hired by the Swiss businessman who owned the factory. Most people found it an eyesore when it was built and some probably still do, though others think that it’s not so bad as far as 19th century industrial architecture goes. The flour mill was in operation until 1955 and at its peak, employed 1500 people and is credited with bringing electricity to Venice.
The ancient church and convent of Ss. Biagio e Cataldo were destroyed to build this factory. This religious complex began as a refuge for pilgrims on the way to the Holy Land and later became a convent for Benedictine nuns, founded by Blessed Giuliana di Collalto (1186-1262). She was revered as a saint in Venice and credited with working miracles both before and after her death. For centuries, migraine and headache sufferers came to her church to seek healing from her.
Her painted sarcophagus is one of the oldest examples of Venetian painting still in existence; it’s now in the Correr Museum and you can see a photo of it here (scroll down to "Venetian school").
When Ss. Biagio e Cataldo was demolished, the relics of Blessed Giuliana and some of the art were taken to the nearby church of Sant’ Eufemia; its side portico was built with materials from the demolished church.
Mulino Stucky casts a huge reflection - looks like the paint has run off the building and into the canal.