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December 2013 Archives

December 4, 2013

Inside San Lorenzo

I first wrote about the church of San Lorenzo in 2007. At that time, it was deconsecrated and had been closed for decades, and was best known for being the church that Commissario Guido Brunetti can see from his office window in the Donna Leon series of mystery novels set in Venice. San Lorenzo was also known for its cat condos and the small group of homeless cats who lived there.

Then in 2012, we got the news that San Lorenzo was going to re-open as the Biennale venue for Mexico.

Vern, a Hoosier in Venice, visited the church this fall and sent these photos to me. Thanks so much to him for allowing me to share them on my site. It's fascinating to see the church decoration that remains and also the amount of restoration work that's needed (those big holes in the floor!).

The church was divided by this choir screen with a high altar that faced in two directions so that the nuns could attend Mass but not be seen by the public. Most convent churches had nuns' galleries where the nuns could be hidden upstairs, so San Lorenzo's plan is rather unique.



San Lorenzo NorthFrontNave2

San Lorenzo NorthFrontNave1

San Lorenzo LArch

San Lorenzo Cherub

San Lorenzo CenterRoodScreen~

I was happy to see that the cats are still there! Their shelters have been moved from the porch of the church to the bottom of the steps, adjacent to the former convent which is now a retirement home.

San Lorenzo CatShelter

Coming soon, a look inside another deconsecrated church, Sant'Anna. Thanks Vern!

December 7, 2013

PhotoHunt: Glass

Venice has a long history of glass making. In the 13th century, the glass factories were moved to the nearby island of Murano to reduce the risk of fires in Venice proper, and glass making continues on Murano today.

Here's a sweet little street shrine on Murano showing "Madonnina dei Vetrai" (Our Lady of the Glassmakers).



Also on Murano, a strange glass sculpture. It looks too fragile to be displayed outside.



Another modern glass sculpture in Murano~


Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. :)

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

December 19, 2013

Inside Sant'Anna

Thanks again to Vern, a Hoosier in Venice, for sharing his photos and allowing me to post them here.

I wrote about Sant'Anna here; it's a crumbling deconsecrated church in Castello with a fascinating history. Vern noticed that the door was partially open and was able to get a photo of the interior. It's pretty desolate inside; you can barely tell that it was ever a church.



This church is no longer owned by The Church - it's city property and it's unlikely that the Comune di Venezia has the money to restore this place along with the many other dilapidated palazzi they own. They did restore the adjacent Sant' Anna convent which was turned into housing.

Some photos of the Sant'Anna cloisters are here.

December 21, 2013

PhotoHunt: Decorations

Happy Holidays!

I love this theme since decorations are so much fun to photograph.

December 12 was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The last time I visited a Catholic church was several years ago in Venice, but I heard that a local church had an amazing altar so I went. Click on the photo for more images - it was beautiful. All fresh flowers, roses and lilies, and the scent was incredible. Though there was a big difference between this altar and the ones I've visited in Italy.....LED candles! I put my donation in the box, pushed a button, and the candle came on. :)

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I have a set on Flickr of some of my favorite holiday decorations, mostly roadside nativity scenes here in NC. Lots of people decorate their yards for the holidays, and if I spot a nativity, I pull over.

Many people have plastic figurines in their yards so this first one is kinda special. Folk art at its best - I can't imagine how long it took to sew and create all these nativity characters.

Roadside Nativity #1

Away in a Manger

But even the store-bought decorations have their special magic, especially at night~

Roadside Nativity #4

I like the black/white simplicity of this one~

roadside nativity #7

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, here is my all-time fave indoor holiday decoration. One of my aunts gave it to me as a gift and every year when I bring it out, I laugh. Cheerleader reindeers with sneakers on...who thought of such a thing?!?


I love Christmas lights, LED or other~


And now for a few shots from Venice. First, a glass Christmas tree next to the Basilica di San Marco (sponsored by the Casino di Venezia).

Christmas in Venice

In Venice, you see a lot of these climbing Santas scaling buildings~

Christmas in Venice

And I've posted this one before but it's my fave. The little blue tree in a campo in Venice.

blue christmas

Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. Have a great holiday next week! :)

See a list of upcoming Saturday Photo Hunting themes on Gattina's website here.

This page contains all entries posted to Churches in Venice in December 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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