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San Maurizio

In my last post, I wrote about the Museo della Musica di Venezia, housed in the deconsecrated church of San Maurizio. Here’s some more info about the church itself and its history.

San Maurizio

This church was founded in the 9th century and rebuilt four times over the centuries. It was a parish church until the late 18th century when it was suppressed by the French and then demolished. During this period after the fall of the Venetian Republic, over 40 churches in Venice were destroyed permanently, so it’s very unusual that San Maurizio was so quickly rebuilt and consecrated again in 1828. Why did they choose to rebuild this particular one? The "new" San Maurizio was rebuilt in the neoclassical style with a design inspired by the demolished (and not rebuilt) Renaissance church of San Geminiano which was located in Piazza San Marco facing the Basilica.

The campanile (bell tower) in the photo below belongs to the nearby church of Santo Stefano. A previous incarnation of San Maurizio did have a free standing Gothic bell tower but it was demolished in 1564. Today the church has Roman bells on the roof. The relief carved on the facade shows the Martrydom of San Maurizio and his men.

San Maurizio

About the saint – San Maurizio (St. Maurice) was a 3rd century Roman soldier, one of six thousand soldiers who converted to Christianity and were then martyred. There’s a faded image of him on the circa 1521 vera da pozzo in the campo in front of the church.

San Maurizio

There’s another more elegant image of San Maurizio on the former Scuola degli Albanasi next door to the church.

San Maurizio

This church/museum is well worth a visit. Admission is free, and the opening hours are generous (9:30 - 7:30 daily). It's easy to find too, along the main drag from Piazza San Marco to the Accademia bridge.

San Maurizio

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Comments (6)

I really like that first photo ~ very graceful ~ and how wonderful that admission is free!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, your photos are wonderful. The history is so interesting. It's incredible that 40 churches were destroyed during that one period. I'm glad that this church was rebuilt and to think about the number of churches Venice would have today had some churches not been destroyed back in history. I can't believe that I missed this museum because I think I walked that main drag many times during my 2 week stay. I shall definitely add San Maurizio on my next trip.

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos and interesting history. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thank you for the information about this church, and the insite into San Maurizio. And, now I have a little idea of what San Geminiano might have looked like.

Andrew:

Thanks again Annie. I never knew that about its being the reincarnation of San Geminiano. Perhaps someone who's good with photoshop could 'put it back' in the Piazza so we could see what it looked like before the vandal Napoleon got his hands on it.

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Andrew, I like the photoshop idea! I think there's a Canaletto painting that shows that church; I'll see if I can find it.

we walked passed this church when we were in Venice a few weeks ago. I walked passed far too many IMHO. I shall do my best to correct that in December!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 26, 2012 12:31 PM.

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