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San Stin

Not all of Venice's demolished churches have memorial plaques like San Geminiano does, but most of them have something left behind, even if it’s simply the name of a calle or campo. The church of San Stin, in the sestiere of San Polo, is remembered in the names of a campo, a rio, and a bridge, but also in a few other interesting remnants

This parish church was founded in the 10th century. Its official name was Santo Stefano Confessore, but the Venetians began to call it San Stefanino or “little St. Stephen” to distinguish it from the larger Santo Stefano in sestiere San Marco. And then in charming Venetian fashion, the name morphed into San Stin. The large Gothic church is dedicated to Stephen the first Christian martyr while this smaller church honored a different saint, Stephen the priest.

San Stin was rebuilt after it was destroyed in the great fire of 1105, and perhaps rebuilt again in 1259, and restored many times until its demise in 1810. You can see the church and its Gothic bell tower in de Barbari’s 1500 map and also in this detail from an 18th century painting by Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto’s nephew). The side of the church faced into the campo with the tower in the rear. Behind San Stin, you can see the bell tower and top of the façade of the Frari.


Today in the corner of the campo, the base of the bell tower and a chapel are still there, and it’s fun to compare them to the Bellotto painting. At one point in the 20th century, this housed an upholstery shop. Today it seems to be a private residence, and its owners appear to have bought their paint on Burano.

San Stin

The orange paint is recent; here's what the chapel looked like in 2008.

San Stin

San Stin

In campo San Stin, there’s a vera da pozzo that dates to 1508. On one side, the weathered carvings show St. James and St. Barbara with the cross of Calvary in between them.

San Stin

On the other side of the well-head is San Stefanino himself with a funny perplexed expression on his face. Perhaps he can’t believe they tore his church down?

San Stin

When San Stin was demolished, its “Assumption of the Virgin” by Tintoretto was relocated to the Accademia where it still is today. Tintoretto painted this in 1550, a little over 30 years after Titian painted his masterpiece of the same subject a stone’s throw away in the Frari. So interesting to compare them!

San Stin

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Comments (4)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, great post. I too wonder about how many churches are destroyed and rebuilt. It is great that they do remember them in some way. I had to lol at your comments about the Burano paint and the expression on San Stefanino. I kind of like the name of San Stefanino better.

I really like seeing the past and present comparisons in your photos. And that painting is amazing.

Thanks so much for this wonderful post. Hope you're having an awesome summer.

great post as always. I never noticed the chapel before, probably because I didn't know its story. Thanks for sharing.


The new owners' choice of orange paint is pretty groovy, but it somehow seems to fit - I love it! Can you imagine living in a house with a 16th century pozzo out front?

It is interesting to compare the two Assumptions....this one seems somehow more real, more grounded as if we could be actual witnesses to the event!

It may be bright but I LOVE that 'Burano-esque' paint. *smile*

Great to see how the neighbourhood still has remnants of the old church.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 6, 2012 10:29 AM.

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