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Santo Stefano (San Stin)

Venice's most reconsecrated church

Inside San Stin

People come to busy Campo Santo Stefano for pistachio ice cream from the famous Gelateria Paolin, and to see the early Gothic church of Santo Stefano (S. Stin), with its grandly florid Gothic door designed in 1442 by Bartolomeo Bon. San Stin has a couple of other distinctions as well: it’s the only church built directly over a canal, and, more dubiously, it has had to be reconsecrated the most often – six times, because of the repeated murders that occurred within its walls.

The interior, however, is most serenely Gothic, with harmoniously patterned walls and wooden ship’s-keel roof. On the wall by the door is the pretty equestrian Tomb of Giacomo Surian (d. 1493), decorated with skulls, garlands and griffins; a bombastic bronze seal in the middle of the nave marks the grave of Doge Francesco Morosini, conqueror of the Morea and bomber of the Parthenon in Athens (the Turks had stored their gunpowder there, thinking no one would bomb such a world-famous monument. They were wrong.) Giovanni Gabrieli is buried under the first altar to the left.

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Venetian Gothic


Sestiere San Marco


Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls, Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License