Venipedia

A small church in the heart of Venice, right next to Piazza San Marco, in the Piazzetta dei Leoncini.

The peculiarity of this building is the square side facade, divided into three by Corinthian columns. Located between civilian architecture and next to the Clock Tower, it is distinguished by a large circular ornament in the center.

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The church was first built in 1076 to the request of the Elia family and later rebuilt in 1105 following its destruction in a major fire. It suffered the same fate in the second half of the 17th century, and was rebuilt with a single nave and a facade that faces a small calle. Some attribute the design to Baldassare Longhena while others to Giuseppe Benoni. 

The church was closed for worship in 1810 under the Napoleonic dominion and used for different purposes (particularly as a warehouse); it was liberated by the patriarch Giacomo Monico in subsequent years and donated to the Fabbriceria of San Marco.  

The church is now deconsecrated and currently houses the headquarters of the Ateneo di San Basso, which organises musical and cultural events. For security reasons, since 9/11, it has also been used as a baggage deposit for tourists who wish to visit the nearby Basilica. Inside are chairs and a 12 minute informative video in eight languages which introduces the visitor to the history of life and art of San Marco. 

 

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