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Church of Santa Maria del Giglio

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

10:30 AM - 1:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 3

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio in the late afternoon when the tourist crowds have dwindled; you'll have a better chance of appreciating the intricate art without the noise. Also, check out the small campo (square) nearby, often missed by tourists, where you can find a charming café that serves the best traditional Venetian spritz in a truly local setting."

What is Church of Santa Maria del Giglio?

The Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, also known as Santa Maria Zobenigo by the Venetians, stands as a testament to art and architecture in the floating city of Venice. Situated in the sestiere, or district, of San Marco, its façade catches the eye of any passerby with its detailed embellishments and rich history etched into its very walls. Interestingly, while its name translates to 'Saint Mary of the Lily,' indicating purity and the Virgin Mary, the church is somewhat anomalously decked with representations and tributes to the Barbaro family, one of the city's historically influential families.

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History of Church of Santa Maria del Giglio

The origins of the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio date back to the 9th century, but the structure you see today tells the story of 17th-century Venice. It was reconstructed between 1678 and 1681 under the patronage of Antonio Barbaro, a Venetian nobleman and admiral of Venice. This was a period when Venice's power and wealth were reflected in the grandness of its buildings, and the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio was no exception. The exterior was designed by Giuseppe Sardi, and it’s one of the prime examples of Baroque architecture in the city.

While the façade demonstrates a clear deviation from the common ecclesiastic themes of the time, focusing more on the glorification of the Barbaro family than on religious iconography, the interior holds true to a more conventional spiritual ambience. Inside, art connoisseurs can admire works by artists such as Tintoretto, Peter Paul Rubens, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, making it an unmissable stop for any historical or artistic exploration of Venice.

Why is Church of Santa Maria del Giglio Important?

The Church of Santa Maria del Giglio is important not only for its architectural merit and artistic treasures but also for its unique place in Venetian history. It is a symbol of the city's past grandeur, showcasing the might of the Venetian Empire through the individual might of a noble family. Its nave and walls offer a journey through time, displaying devotion, art, and a narrative of Venice that most don't hear about.

Furthermore, the church is an exemplar of the intertwining of civic pride and religious devotion that characterizes much of Venice's history. Its strategic position, mere steps away from the Grand Canal, reminds us of Venice's intricate canal systems and urban layout, which makes it an integral part of any authentic Venetian experience. To walk into Santa Maria del Giglio is to step into a page of Venetian history, where art and power speak in hushed yet undeniable whispers.

Things to Do & See at Church of Santa Maria del Giglio

Venturing inside, visitors can immerse themselves in the artistic heritage of Venice. The altar pieces by Tintoretto, a splendid native Venetian artist, are highlights not to be missed. Tintoretto's works here are somber yet captivating, channeling the full spectrum of human emotion through biblical scenes.

The pièce de résistance, however, is the ceiling, adorned with a fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, considered to be one of the most majestic in Venice. Venture further, and you'll find the altar with the artwork "Fall of Manna" by Rubens, a piece that resonates with profound artistic and historical resonance within these sacred walls.

Apart from these masterpieces, I often advise those with a keen eye for detail to examine the church's façade more closely—it's a biography of stone, detailed with the adventures and accolades of the Barbaro family. Look for the maps of cities that Admiral Barbaro had visited, and marvel at how public narrative and private legacy blur stunningly in Venetian architecture. Lastly, when the Venetian sun sets, the church often becomes a venue for classical music concerts, the acoustics magnifying the melodic beauty in a way only a centuries-old church can.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the history of the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio?

The Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, also known as Santa Maria Zobenigo, is a church in Venice that dates back to the 9th century, although it was rebuilt in a Baroque style in the late 17th century. It is notable for its rich façade decorated with architectural elements and statues, and it has connections with the Barbaro family, a prominent Venetian family.

What are the architectural highlights of the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio?

The façade of the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio is a highlight of its architecture, featuring Corinthian columns, statues of the Barbaro family, and reliefs that depict maps of territories in which the Barbaro family served as ambassadors. The Baroque interior also boasts artworks by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Tintoretto.

Where is the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio located?

The Church of Santa Maria del Giglio is located in the sestiere (district) of San Marco, in Venice, Italy. It's situated near the Grand Canal and can be accessed by water transport or on foot along the narrow Venetian alleys.

Are there any famous artworks in the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio?

Yes, the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio houses several famous artworks including 'The Fall of Manna' by Jacopo Tintoretto and 'The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist' by Antonio Zanchi. The church's interior is adorned with numerous works of Venetian art that attract many art enthusiasts.

Is the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio open to the public, and if so, what are the visiting hours?

The Church of Santa Maria del Giglio is typically open to the public for both worship and tourism. Visiting hours can vary, often encompassing several hours a day except during services. It is recommended to check the current schedule before planning a visit as times can change due to religious events or conservation work.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, 30125 Venezia VE, Italy

Opening Hours

10:30 AM - 1:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 3

Find it on google maps