This church sits on the little island of San Giorgio Maggiore. It is one of the masterpieces of Andrea Palladio, the great Renaissance architect from nearby Vicenza. Most known for his country villas built for Venice's wealthy merchant families, Palladio was commissioned to build two churches (the other is the Redentore on the neighboring island of Giudecca), beginning with San Giorgio, designed in 1565 and completed in 1610. To impose a classical facade on the traditional church structure, Palladio designed two interlocking facades, with repeating triangles, rectangles, and columns that are carefully and harmoniously proportioned. Founded as early as the 10th century, the interior of the church was reinterpreted by Palladio with whitewashed surfaces, stark but majestic, and unadorned but harmonious space. The main altar is flanked by two epic paintings by an elderly Tintoretto, The Fall of Manna, to the left, and the more noteworthy Last Supper, to the right, famous for its chiaroscuro. Through the doorway to the right of the choir leading to the Cappella dei Morti (Chapel of the Dead), you will find Tintoretto's Deposition.
To the left of the choir is an elevator that you can take to the top of the campanile -- for a charge of 3€ ($3.90) -- to experience an unforgettable view of the island, the lagoon, and the Palazzo Ducale and Piazza San Marco across the way.
A handful of remaining Benedictine monks gather for Sunday Mass at 11am, sung in Gregorian chant.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Venice Locals about Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore
- Highly Recommended 2010
- tel: 041-522-7827
- On the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, across St. Mark's Basin from Piazzetta San Marco
- Mon-Sat 9:30am-12:30pm; daily 2-6pm
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