"Chiesa San Giorgio Maggiore" Top 5 Page for this destination San Giorgio Maggiore - Church and Island Tip by suvanki
San Giorgio Maggiore - Church and Island, Venice: 45 reviews and 96 photos
Also known as Basilica San Giorgio Maggiore and Chiesa San Giorgio in Isola.
This is one of the largest churches in Venice. It is located on the small island of the same name (only accessible by vaporetto No 2) in the Southern lagoon, nearly a stones throw from Piazzo San Marco.
Building commenced in 1565 and it wasn't completed until 1610, when the facade was erected. This was thirty years after the death of its architect Andrea Palladio. Simone Sorella was responsible for the final work, which he completed following Palladios exact design.
The facade is formed from Istrian marble, it is typical of Palladian style - based on classical Greek or Roman temples, with elegant columns and side naves which were inspired by Christian churches.
Its interior is light and airy, predominantly white. Natural light streams in through the upper windows. Apparently Palladio stated "Among all colours what is most suited to Temples is whiteness so that the purity of the colour and of life is highly pleasing to God"
Worth noting are the choir stalls behind the altar, with carvings showing scenes from the life of Saint Benedict that date back to 1590 (pic 2)
Paintings include Jacopo Tintoretto's 'Collecting the Mana' and 'The Last Supper' and his son Domenicos 'Stoning of St Stephen' 'The Risen Christ' and 'Saints Benedict, Gregory, Maurice and Placid and other Benedictine Saints'.
These paintings by Tintoretto Senior, were completed in his later years. A third painting by him 'Deposition' (pic 4) is believed to have been his last piece of work. It was completed by Domenico. This is to be found in the Capella dei Morti (Chapel of the Dead) a door to the right of the choir, takes you into the corridor that leads to this room.
It was quite dark, so the photo quality was poor
Other paintings include 'St Lucy dragged to Martyrdom' by Leandro Bassano, 'St George and the Dragon' by Matteo Ponzone and 'The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple' by Palma il Giovane.
The high altar has black stone, contrasting with the whiteness of the church. A statue of Christ is seen standing on a globe. above him, a triangular halo! The altar is the work of Gerolamo Campagna. He also created the 'Statue of Our Lady', which is seen at the 2nd altar to the left of the entrance door.(pic 5)
Before or after viewing the church, it is well worth paying the 3 euros, that buys you some of the best views of Venice and the lagoon, and to the sea and mountains beyond.. A lift takes you to the top of the campanile, where you can take in the extensive views. (in my opinion, this is much better than the one in San Marco - here at least you are more likely to have less crowds jostling for the views - there was only myself and a young couple at the time of my visit)
I've started downloading videos of the views from here on this and my San Giorgio Maggiore page
The church is open;
May - end of September 09.30-12.30 and 14.30-18.30
October- end of April 09.30-12.30 and 14.30 -16.30
The sign by the ticket desk stated times for the campanile were 09.30-12.30 and 14.30- 1700 (I'm not sure if you're let out of a different door when the church is closed)
A good time to visit would be late afternoon as the light changes, or at sunset in autumn/ winter.
Free admission to the church 3 euros to the campanile.
Address: San Giorgio Maggiore, San Marco sestieri Venice
Directions: VAPORETTO - SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE
Only route 2 runs to this islet. Frequent service from San Zaccaria
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