Santi Giovanni e Paolo - Santi Giovanni e Paolo information and pictures

Santi Giovanni e Paolo is in Castelo district and rivals the Frari as the city’s grandest Gothic Church. Also known as San Zanipolo this remarkable Gothic church was built in the late 13-th century and early 14th century by the Dominican Order. It houses monuments of 25 doges.

The building was destroyed in 1333, and construction works began. The new church was completed and consecrated in 1430, with its vast interior featuring many paintings and funerary monuments. Among them are a miraculous Byzantine statue, Madonna della Pace, and a foot of St Catherine of Siena, a theologian and a Scholastic philosopher of the Dominican Order. Renowned artists were commissioned to decorate the church such as Piero di Niccolò Lamberti, Bartolomeo Bon, and Giovanni Bellini.

The funerary services of all Venetian doges were held in San Zanipolo since the 15th century. Twenty-five of Venice’s doges are buried here, including Lorenzo Tiepolo, Michele Morosini, and Reniero Zeno. Artists, sea captains, admirals, generals, and commander-in-chiefs are also buried in the church, including the poet Bartolomeo Bragadin, the admiral Vettor Pisani, and senator Gianbattista Bonzi. The church is known as the Pantheon of Venice because of the many ornately decorated tombs of famous men and notable families. The grandest monument was produced by Antonio Lombardo and Tullio and belongs to Pietro Mocenigo.

In the view of many, the interior is more impressive than the exterior. The main altar is decorated with an altarpiece by Lotto and a large polyptych. The altar is dedicated to the Spanish Dominican Saint Vincenzo Ferrer, with the alms of Saint Antony displayed on the altarpiece. The interior features notable Venetian artists. The paintings on the ceiling, the Adoration, Assumption, and Annunciation of the Shepherds are by Paolo Veronese who is famous for The Feast in the House of Levi and The Wedding at Cana. In 1867, the altarpieces, painted by Giovanni Bellini and Titian were partially destroyed in fire. A statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, a professional soldier (condottiere) was erected in front of the church in 1496. Alessandro Leopardi was involved in the chasing, polishing, and casting.

The monument by Andrea Tirali depicts a dogaressa and Valier doges against the background of a marble curtain. The Chapel of St Dominic is also designed by Tirali, and the marvelous ceiling paintings are by Giovani Battista Piazzetta. St Antonine Distributing Alms by Lorenzo Lotto is found on the right transept. The stained-glass windows above are designed by Cima da Conegliano and Bartolomeo Vivarini. The tomb of Michele Morosini, doge of Venice, is to the right of the Baroque high altar. Found off the left transept, the rosary chapel was gutted by fire shortly after works by Bellini and Titian were brought here. The chapel now contains furnishings and paintings by suppressed churches.

Masses are held daily. Visitors of the city can tour the interior for a small fee. Other parish churches in the Vicariate of San Marco-Castello are Beata Vergine Addolorata, Ospedaletto, and San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti.

Where is Santi Giovanni e Paolo: Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Castello district

How to get to Santi Giovanni e Paolo: By vaporetto- Fondamente Nuove or Ospedale Civile stop

Opening Hours: Daily from 9AM to 12:30PM; 3:30PM to 7PM

Santi Giovanni e Paolo Venice

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