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Venice Vacations

The Churches In Venice

Just to begin, the older part of the city is divided into six areas called sestieri. These are Castello, Cannaregio, San Polo, Dorsoduro, Santa Croce and San Marco. In this discussion, we will take you through the sestieri and discuss their churches.

Santa Croce

This sestieri has two major churches. The Church of San Simeon Piccolo and the Church of Santo Stae. The first is an 18th century building modeled on the Pantheon in Rome. It is now largely in use as an auditorium. The Church of Santo Stae is far more elaborate and consists of three chapels on either side of a central aisle. It is very beautifully decorated with paintings and marble decorations.

San Polo

Two churches, both very famous and beautiful are a must see in this sestieri. The Church of San Giacometto is the oldest in Venice and was built in the 5th century when the first settlers came in! It has a clock (much more modern as compared to the church), built in 1410! The clock is still ticking away!

The other church, the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is a one of the best known buildings in Venice, italy. Build in the 15th century; the church also houses the archives of the city and its documented history. You will need time to go through them - there are 15 million volumes!

Dorsoduro

A terrible plague struck Venice in the early 1600s. As it threatened to wipe out the city, the city's rulers declared that a church would be built as a vow to wipe out the plague. Magically, the plague subsided the next year. That is how the Basilica della Salute was built. It took nearly fifty years in the making but the church is a work of art and houses some even more stunning pieces of art as well.

Castello

This sestieri houses a number of must see churches. These are the Church of Santa Maria Formosa which legend says was built when the Virgin Mary appeared to the Bishop of Ordezo. The Church of the Santissimi Giovanni and Paolo was built in honor of the two Roman brothers who were martyred in the 2nd century.

San Marco

This houses the most famous one of them all - the Basilica of San Marco. Built in the year 829 AD, this church contains the remains of St. Mark, smuggled in secretly from Egypt. The church is as beautiful as its history.

Cannaregio

This sestieri has a number of exciting churches. Prime among these is the Church of the Santissimi Apostoli. Housing some wonderful frescos, this church is built on the spot where the refugees first came from the mainland.

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