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The origins of the church of San Geminiano turn out to be very old - it is believed to date back to 554 - and represents a gift offered by the Greek general Narses to the Venetians for the naval aid received in the Byzantine war against the Goths. Built in front of the Church of San Geminiano in the same historical period - positioned on the bank of the Batario canal that crossed the square to the San Marco basin - was the church of St Theodore, the Saint who was the official patron of Venice until the remains of St. Mark the Evangelist were recovered; with the construction of the St Mark’s Basilica the church dedicated to St Theodore was demolished.

In 1106 San Geminiano was destroyed in a fire that burnt various parts of the city to the ground; under an initiative organised by Vitale II Michiel towards the second half of the XII century the church was later rebuilt in a more decentralised point in the piazza, which at the time was enlarged, redesigned and framed by St Mark’s Basilica and the canal that was filled in. Finally, the church underwent an important restoration in 1557 to the designs of the architect Jacopo Sansovino.

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