Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo

Venice, Italy

The Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo is one of the largest churches in Venice with the status of minor basilica. After the 15th century the funeral services of all of Venice's doges were held here, and twenty-five doges are buried in the church.

The huge brick edifice was designed in the Italian Gothic style, and completed in the 1430s. It is the principal Dominican church of Venice, and as such was built to hold large congregations. It is dedicated to John and Paul, not the Biblical Apostles of the same names, but two obscure martyrs of the Early Christian church in Rome, whose names were recorded in the 4th century but whose legend is of a later date.

In 1246, Doge Jacopo Tiepolo donated some swampland to the Dominicans after dreaming of a flock of white doves flying over it. The first church was demolished in 1333, when the current church was begun. It was not completed until 1430.

The vast interior contains many funerary monuments and paintings, as well as the Madonna della Pace, a miraculous Byzantine statue situated in its own chapel in the south aisle, and a foot of Saint Catherine of Siena, the church's chief relic.

The Renaissance Equestrian Statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni (1483), by Andrea del Verrocchio, is located next to the church.



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Founded: 1430s
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

LJ (12 months ago)
If you love visiting churches, this one is a must while in Venice. The beautiful vaulted ceilings, high pillars, and gorgeous stained-glass windows are just a few of the things special about this church. A relic of St. Catherine of Siena can be seen here. You quickly can tell this is a Dominican church.
Andrew U (13 months ago)
Worth it to admire the outside alone. Small cost to enter the vast gothic church. From a tourist view it's maybe not spectacular. But definatly worth considering
Grace Howe (13 months ago)
Located in a nice lively square. Had to pay a small admission fee but the inside is airy and beautiful. Lots of open space to walk around and admire the art. Helpful signage telling you which painting is which. Some real masterpieces here, and the art is clearly well taken care of.
P (14 months ago)
I was only there to admire the exterior of the church, while sipping a drink on the patio from the opposite side of the church. Sometimes, it's ok to slow down and just enjoy the surrounding. (July 2022)
Roberto P (18 months ago)
The square is a must. Spectacular and historic! Have a drink i. One of the cafes and admire the local life and structures
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