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Sant'Agostin

santagostin

Another church demolished in the 19th century, Sant’Agostin was a parish church dedicated to St. Augustine, located not far from the Frari and San Stin.

One source says that this church was founded in 1001 (such a specific date!) while another source says that it was built in 953-64 (again, very specific). Safe bet is to say 10th century or so. The church burned down three times (1105, 1149, and 1634) and was rebuilt each time (the etching above is the final version, and de Barbari's map below shows version #2). “Venice From the Bell Towers” says that Sant’Agostin was sober on the outside but “the interior featured a wealth of altars, precious marbles, stuccoes, and frescoes.”

DeBarbariSantagostin

After the 1810 suppression, the church building was used as a flour mill and then as a warehouse until 1873 when it was demolished to build housing. In the campo today, the apartment buildings at 2304 -2306 are located where the church used to be. The church lives on in the name of the campo and a bridge, and also on the vera da pozzo with its carvings of the symbols of the saint (a bishop’s mitre and staff).

Campo Sant'Agostin

Sant'Agostin

There’s an amazingly detailed history of this campo and church on Giandri’s website; it’s a fascinating wealth of info that includes a list of the art that was in the church, a photo of the campo during the 1966 flood, a photo of a statue of St. Augustine that was relocated to the church of San Polo, and a really crazy modern story.

In 2000, when the campo’s sewage system was being repaired, they discovered the most ancient foundations of the original church along with tombs that had been robbed during the second rebuilding of the church. They were able to date the tombs because the medieval bricks matched the ones used to build the Torcello campanile in 1008. There’s a photo of two of the tombs filled with bones!

Giandri’s website also recounts another thing this campo is famous for, the Column of Infamy which commemorated a 1310 plot to overthrow the Venetian government. A few years ago, Venice in Peril published an article calling for the column to be returned to Campo Sant’Agostin but I don’t know if it happened.

I also learned from Giandri that this statue below, now on the outside of a home on Salizada San Polo, probably came from the church of Sant’Agostin.


St. Augustine

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Comments (5)

Hi Annie, I love those posts on the churches of the past. Thanks for reminding me about that wonderful website (Giandri)! Have a nice day,
take care

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, it's interesting that they rebuilt this church three times. Is there a reason why it was burned so many times? The sketches with the 2 versions is very interesting too. Your photos are wonderful and the link very informative.

I really enjoyed this wonderful post Annie. Thanks so much for writing and sharing.

Thank you for the link to Andrea's website. I would like to have a brain transplant from that knowledgeable and friendly man!

Andrew:

As usual very interesting. I love the famous prayer of St Augustine - 'Lord, make me chaste but not yet.'

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Andrew, I like that prayer!

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