Venipedia

Formerly called Maiurbium, from the Latin Magna Urbs - Città Maggiore - at the time it was second in importance only to the nearby island of Torcello. Here one of the oldest bells in Europe is still preserved.

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Separated from a main canal - the Canale maggiore of Mazzorbo - the island still today shows on its banks buildings in the Gothic-Venetian style, experiencing the same fate as the entire Torcelliano territory. It is connected to the most famous island of Burano by a pedestrian crossing called Ponte Longo.

Venetian island of ancient origin - probably founded already in Roman times - Mazzorbo reached the pinnacle of success between the 11th and 14th centuries whose main commercial activity was represented by the processing of salt. Numerous mills were also scattered in the Mazzorbino territory, as evidenced by various archaeological remains.

The importance of the island is also evidenced by the presence, at the time, of 10 churches among parish and conventuals: above all the Cathedral of San Pietro stood out for its marbles and a golden altarpiece lost, unfortunately, with the demolition of the property occurred in the nineteenth century.

The decline of the island began in the sixteenth century when people began to emigrate to the flourishing Venice, the places of worship began to close and then were definitively demolished in the nineteenth century, due to the Napoleonic suppressions. Of the ancient splendor remains today the church of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria, a typical example of monastic-lagoon architecture with its ancient bell tower and the solitary bell tower of Valverde or Sant'Angelo dating back to the fourteenth century.

In particular, the bell tower of Santa Caterina houses the oldest bell in the lagoon - as well as one of the oldest in Europe - which bears the year 1318.

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