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Santa Maria della Salute

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Venice, Italy.

  • Photo of Santa Maria della Salute
  • Photo of Santa Maria della Salute
  • Photo of Santa Maria della Salute
Photo of Santa Maria della Salute
Photo by flickr user James & Vilija
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This domed church adds to Venice’s much photographed skyline, sneaking in to so many viewfinders as people stand with their backs to the Piazza San Marco snapping away at the lines of parked gondola. Many people get no closer to the finger of land the basilica was built on than the Grand Canal, but its distinctive shape and almost wedding cake design make it one of Venice’s prettiest churches as well as one of its saddest.

It’s sad because its construction began at the height of the plague of 1629 which wiped out a third of Venetians. Apparently performing the sacraments, prayers and processions in other churches wasn’t enough to bring an end to the illness, so a new church was built and the citizens appealed directly to the Virgin Mary for help.

Under the white dome is a white octagon, made of bricks covered in marble dust, meant to represent a crown. Not finished until the 17th Century, the Salute ordered in a high altar icon, a Byzantine Madonna and Child.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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