28 March 2014

There are 141 Churches in Venice. Seriously.

I've been kind of hoping this post would write itself because it's going to be a bit of a pain. There are, in all seriousness, 141 churches in Venice. 115 are Catholic, there are three non catholic, and 23 on the islands (of various denominations one assumes). Certainly I did not take pictures of all of them and thank goodness because it's going to be difficult enough to match the pictures I did take with the correct corresponding church!

Chiesa di S. Stefano

Total blank

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Thankfully I saved one of the street maps we had. Hopefully I can remember which of the little crosses on the map we visited, and which belong to which pictures. One thing I recommend is to decide before you start visiting churches is which do you want to visit? Many of them have free entry and even those that charge have minimal fees, between 2.50-5.00 Euros. When you think that it goes mostly towards preservation and reconstruction it's really just a small amount. If you want to save a little though, because all the various entrance fees do add up, you can get a Chorus Pass which is
12 Euro and lets you into about a dozen or so different churches.

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

Very few churches allow photographs at all. Santa Maria della Salute (above) was one of the few that had no objections. I completely understand not using flash inside the churches. Most of these still have original artwork. Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari (below somewhere) has a giant freaking Titian. A Titian. A giant one. It was beyond incredible. The painting practically glows from light it seems to generate on its own. So yes, I get no flash-but no pictures at all? Lame.

It's on the tip of my tongue...

Chiesa di San Rocco (R) & Scuola Grande di San Rocco (L)

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Chiesa Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari
Rather than taking a vaporetto from Fondamente Nove on our return from Burano we decide to walk. While Venice is a remarkably easy city to get around in, especially for a European city, we got knocked slightly off our planned course and found ourselves in the Pizza San Giovanni e Paolo. What a happy accident. The church itself was covered in scaffolding but we visited first its library (free) then the church (2.50 Euro) and were so happy we'd stumbled upon them.

Not a clue

Chiesa di San Giovanni e Paolo

The library which I think actually connects to the Ospedale Civile had not only remarkable art and ceilings, as seen above, but a vast collection of medical books in a variety of languages, tools, and curiosities. I recently read a rather fascinating book called Stiff by Mary Roach. While the book's main point is what happens to cadavers donated to science, Ms Roach discusses a little bit about the history of surgery. After reading her book and seeing some of the tools on display here I am more happy than ever to live in the modern age. Even with the absolutely unnecessary and outrageous cost of health care in the US.

Yes that says: 'amputation'

Hell to the no.
Chiesa San Giovanni e Paolo was one of the few churches that allowed indoor photography. Which just made me even happier and more willing to pay the miniscule entrance fee. We saw several churches done in this style: exposed brick, groin vaulting supported by (in this case) Doric columns, and lots of windows. It gave me a very indoor while outdoor feeling that I found unbalancing and yet really cool.

One of these days I'll figure out the level tool in PS

I love Istanbul, don't get me wrong, and it's not that Christians aren't allowed to be Christian or practice their religion in Turkey (for the moment at least)...we just can't really do it openly. Most churches which have managed to remain churches live behind walls that also contain our worship. So as a Catholic it's such a difference to be in a Catholic country. It's like I was able to let go of a breath I was unaware of even holding. We were in Venice for four days and could literally have spent the entire time visiting churches and likely still would have missed some. If you even sort of kind of like to look at churches though, this is your city! Maybe just keep better track than I did of which is which!

Also no clue

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