"Arco del Paradiso" Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Off The Beaten Path Tip by suvanki
Venice Off The Beaten Path: 717 reviews and 1,246 photos
While wandering around the back streets of this sestierie, near Santa Maria Formosa, I happened to look up and saw this unusual archway. I took a photo of it, but wasn't sure what it was all about. So, on my return home, I decided to find out more.
The archway on the Calle del Paradiso is 15th century and is made of Istrian stone. It depicts the Virgin Mary, opening her mantle to protect a devout couple praying. Either side, the 2 plaques represent the coat of arms of the Foscari and Mocenigo families. It was possibly created to commemorate the marriage of Pelegrino (the daughter of Michele Foscari) to Alviso Mocenigo in 1491.
Apparently Mocenigo owned 26 houses on the Calle del Paradiso, which he was able to do through his wifes dowry! ( but I'm not sure if the piece I read meant Mocenigo Senior i.e. his father and Pelegrinos Mother in Laws money, or that Pelegrinos dowry paid for the purchase of these properties!)
The canal side facing part of this arch has one coat of arms and a single person praying.
Over the centuries this archway had deteriorated and was quite ruined, before funding from UNESCO enabled restoration of this protected World Heritage Site.
The buildings on Calle del Paradiso are in the barbacano design, which means the upper rooms protrude over the lower ones, enabling more space and providing protection from the rain to the floor below
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