Designed and decorated by the greatest artists and architects of the time, the Venice churches have become one of the most favorite tourist attractions in the city.
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987, the historical center of Venice is located on 118 islands in the Venetian lagoon, northeastern Italy, separated by 150 canals and channels, through which about 400 bridges are thrown.
There are more than 250 churches in Venice. Some of them have reached the 1000 year mark today and this without a wrinkle. Scattered along the alleys, the canals, and the squares of the historic center, they dot its watery landscape and run the gamut from Byzantine to Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque.
Basilica of St. Mark
Built between the 9th and 11th century and finished during the 13th century, the Basilica of St. Mark (Basilica di San Marco) is the largest and most important religious building in all of Venice. The modifications to the Basilica continued through several centuries, therefore the results of the construction exhibit a mixture of different styles: Romanesque, Byzantine, and Gothic.
Located in the vast Square of St. Mark, this world-famous basilica is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city and an absolute prerequisite during your visit to Venice.
Address: Piazza San Marco 328, 30124 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 9:00–20:00 (Bell Tower), 9:45–17:45 (St. Mark’s Museum).
Admission: 10 € (Bell Tower), 5 € (St. Mark’s Museum).
Basilica of St. Mary of Health
The Basilica of St. Mary of Health (Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute) was completed at the end of the 17th century in the Baroque style to a design by the Italian architect Baldassare Longhena. Located in the Dorsoduro district, it stands on a platform made of 1,156,627 wooden pilings.
The church was dedicated to the Madonna, and built to commemorate the end of a terrible outbreak of the plague that began in 1630, and killed nearly a third of Venice’s 150,000 citizens. Every year, it becomes the destination of a religious procession celebrated on the 21st of November.
Address: Campo de la Salute Dorsoduro 1, 30123 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 9:30–12:00, 15:00–17:30 (Monday to Saturday); 9:30–12:00, 15:00–17:30 (Sunday).
Admission: free; Sacristy-museum: 4 € (full), 2 € (reduced).
The Church of St. Mary of the Garden
The Church of St. Mary of the Garden (Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto), located in the picturesque Cannareggio district, was built in the 14th century. It was linked to a monastery of the Humiliati religious order, who preached a return to the origins of Christian poverty.
The church is a splendid example of Venetian Gothic architecture. It contains several interesting attractions for all lovers of art. Among those, stand out the paintings “Adoration of the golden calf” (1546) and “The Last Judgement” (1563), both by the Italian painter Tintoretto.
Address: Cannaregio 3512, 30121 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 10:00–17:00 (Monday to Saturday); closed on Sundays.
Admission: 3 €.
The Church of St. Martin
The Church of St. Martin (Chiesa di San Martino), located at the main square of the Burano island, was erected in the 16th century and consecrated in 1645.
Built between 1703 and 1714 by the Italian architect Andrea Tirali, the Campanile has a square plan and is 6.20 m (20 ft) wide at the bottom and 53 m (173.8 ft) high. Because of land subsidence, it is inclined of 1.83 m (8 ft) concerning its axis.
Address: Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi 20, Burano, 30142 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 08:00–12:00, 15:00–19:00 (every day).
Basilica of St. George Major
The Basilica of St. George Major (Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore), located on the island of the same name, was built in the years of 1566–1610 in the Renaissance style to a design by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
The Campanile was built in the 18th century in the Neoclassical style. A lift takes you to the top, giving the best view over the city’s rooftops.
Address: Isola di S.Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 07:00–18:00 (every day).
Admission: free; Bell tower: 3 € (full), 2 € (reduced).
The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer
The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer (Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore), located on the Giudecca island, was built between 1577 and 1592 in the Renaissance style. This is another masterpiece of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio which greatly decorates Venice’s magnificent skyline.
It was built as a votive church in thanksgiving for deliverance from a major outbreak of the plague that decimated Venice in 1575–1577 and dedicated to Christ the Redeemer. Since its construction, the Festival of the Redeemer is held every year on the third Sunday in July.
Address: Redentore, Sestiere Giudecca, 30133 Venice, Italy.
Opening hours: 10:30–13:30, 14:30–17:00 (every day, except Sundays).
Admission: 3 € (full), 1.50 € (reduced).
Venice (Venezia) is located on the mainland and 118 islands in the Venetian lagoon of the Adriatic Sea, in northeastern Italy.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Venice, Italy
There are so many churches in Venice – over 250! – that it would probably take a month to visit them all. Since churches were not my main destination in Venice, I only visited 10 of them. I was lucky as during my vacation in Venice for a week, I lived in a monastery next to the Church of St. Mary of the Garden.
I hope you enjoyed my The 6 most beautiful churches in Venice post. If you like visiting old Catholic churches, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:
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