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San Zaccaria and its Campo

Venice's High Society church

San Zaccaria - Venice

This beautiful church, with its once-famous/infamous Benedictine convent was said to have been founded in the 7th century by St Magnus, rebuilt in the 9th and the 12th centuries (when a fire killed a hundred nuns), it has housed the relics of St Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, ever since the early 800s when they were donated to Venice by Byzantine Emperor Leo V. They're still there, in the right aisle.

The present church was begun in retro-Gothic by Antonio Gambello in 1444 and finished in the Renaissance style of Mauro Codussi in 1515. Codussi is responsible for the distinctive Istrian stone façade above the level of the door, with lunettes and delicate seashell reliefs that cleverly disguise Gambello’s Gothic naves. One of the curiosities of Venice is that it's the only church front visible from the top of St Mark’s campanile.

The Interior

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Venetian Gothic

Early Renaissance Art



Streets, Squares and Gardens

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by José Luiz , Rodney, Creative Commons License, Roman Bonnefoy, Creative Commons License, Sailko