Santa Maria della Salute

Venice, Italy

Santa Maria della Salute (Saint Mary of Health), commonly known simply as the Salute, stands on the narrow finger of Punta della Dogana, between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, making the church visible when entering the Piazza San Marco from the water. The Salute is part of the parish of the Gesuati and is the most recent of the so-called plague churches.

In 1630, Venice experienced an unusually devastating outbreak of the plague. As a votive offering for the city's deliverance from the pestilence, the Republic of Venice vowed to build and dedicate a church to Our Lady of Health. The church was designed in the then fashionable baroque style by Baldassare Longhena, who studied under the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. Construction began in 1631. Most of the objects of art housed in the church bear references to the Black Death.

The dome of the Salute was an important addition to the Venice skyline and soon became emblematic of the city, inspiring artists like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, and the Venetian artist Francesco Guardi.

The Salute is a vast, octagonal building with two domes and a pair of picturesque bell-towers at the back. Built on a platform made of 1,000,000 wooden piles, it is constructed of Istrian stone and marmorino (brick covered with marble dust). At the apex of the pediment stands a statue of the Virgin Mary who presides over the church which was erected in her honour. The façade is decorated with figures of Saint George, Saint Theodore, the Evangelists, the Prophets, Judith with the head of Holofernes.

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Details

Founded: 1631
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Monica Ahumada (2 years ago)
Very nice and enjoyable from the outside, difficult to say from the inside, too simple.do not pay 2 euros to get into the museum is just a waste of money really
Andrea SR Nikolova (2 years ago)
Lovely to walk around outside and nice to go inside. Not as beautiful as the Basilica di San Marco, but not as crowded either.
Lizandra Muniz (2 years ago)
Cute little church, definitely worth the rain I walked under to get there haha
Mike Thuringer (2 years ago)
We only did the outside and it was worthy of the walk. Totally cool vies all around trust me it’s with the walk.
Eudoxio Junior (3 years ago)
Beautiful church with a circular shape! The architecture of this church is very interesting. The altar is very beautiful with many amazing sacred images. There is a great chandelier in the center of the church. The facade is wonderful and the surroundings are fantastic. This is one of the unmissable attractions of the city.
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