This site grew out of my frustration that there wasn't a site like
it, or indeed a comprehensive book available in English.
The churches are divided up by sestiere - the six 'boroughs'
of Venice established in the 12th Century. I've added an extra page for Giudecca, which is not a sestiere -
it's actually part of Dorsoduro - but is a separate enough entity to
deserve one I think. There are also pages devoted to the
islands and to demolished churches, the latter page being still unfinished. Artists, architects and saints might
get their own pages at some time in the future. I suppose I must
point out that, contradictory (and maybe even contrary) as it may seem to some, this is a
religion-free site. My interest is artistic, historical, and also
non-pompous. I am respectful of others' beliefs, usually, and expect them
to be respectful of my personal convictions too.
Each church's history
is told, followed by a description of its architecture, artistic
highlights, unique features, the art it has lost and/or any interesting stories. The degree to
which each topic is covered will vary, depending on the information
available and what makes each church interesting and worth visiting, as
will the amount of personal observation and opinion in each piece. The
latter depends on if the church has been visited by me, and how recently, and
it's this aspect that will keep the site improving for a good long while,
I think. My intention is to tell you what makes each church special,
rather than to list all of its features and contents. As I progress I'm finding that
I'm becoming more interested in digging out the sparse facts about forgotten
churches rather than writing about the churches that are well-enough covered
elsewhere. Also with time I'm finding that on later visits
experience and education is making me notice different things. Each entry also tells you the nearest vaporetto stop and
a link to it's position on a special
Google map. And then there's the opening times - I'll endeavour to keep these times as accurate as
possible, but it's always a good idea to check before travelling, and to
be prepared for disappointment.
The photos are mostly mine, except where noted.
There's also an alphabetical list of all the churches
and a page giving my sources
(click here to send me an encouraging e-mail)
This is Me
This site now has its own Facebook page...
Friends of Fictional Cities and the Churches of Venice
Click on the link and Like the page for
regular news updates.
And you can post your (positive) comments too.
There's a book by Deborah Howard and Laura Moretti called
Sound and Space in Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Music,
Acoustics which I looked at when it came out (in 2009) but which
I decided was too technical and musical, with it's graphs and
diagrams and charts. But having been bought it as a Christmas
present I find that it also has stuff on the history of the churches
they used for their acoustic experiments. So expect some fresh and
juicy facts feeding into my entries on, for example, San Francesco
della Vigna, San Martino, the Ospedaletto, and the demolished Chiesa
to technical frustrations beyond my control and ken my Christmas
e-mail bulletin couldn't get sent out this year, so I'm posting it
on Fictional Cities'
news page and on
my sites' facebook
Back from my first visit in two years with pages of
notes written on re-visits. With experience
I found myself noticing and admiring different things, so you can expect to
find entries growing and improving. These will mostly be expansions
of the Interior and Art Highlights sections, with some
Apologies if you tried to to access this site recently and got an
Exceeded Bandwidth message. There's been a big increase in
visitors in recent months, it seems, and my August monthly limit was
exceeded before the end of the month. I think that part of the
problem is that each page is big, so that looking for one church
loads up loads of photos and stuff loading up regardless of whether the visitor
is interested in all the other churches in that sestiere. So I'm
going to start splitting some pages/sestieri into two pages. So
please forgive any non-working links in the interim. It'll be a lot
of faff, but will prevent the outlay of paying for a hosting package
with more bandwidth. Thank you for your patience during these
troubling times! In better news - I'm off to Venice mid-month.
The photographers amongst you might be pleased to learn that the
No Photo rule almost universal in Venice - even if it isn't
always strictly enforced - seems to be becoming a bit less
universal. San Zanipolo, San Giovanni in Brágora and Madonna
dell'Orto have all been recently reported as now enforcing merely a
No Flash rule. Let's hope that this trend spreads. I'm
visiting Venice in mid-September and so shall investigate this
phenomenon more then.
Site chum David Orme has pointed me in the direction
of Venice and Venetia, a guidebook from the early 20th
Century by Edward Hutton which very assiduously covers every church.
Most of the facts and dates are lifted from Lorenzetti, as ever, but
there are enough fresh snippets to make it worthwhile for me to go
through it comparing what it says to what I have. So I'm doing just
that. Does that mean the job I started in April is done? Oh no.
Following on from February's adjustments I'm
gradually revising each sestiere/page by incorporating the sections
called A visit into the other entries. This has served to do
away with duplication of information and I've taken out some of the
more frivolous stuff too as I've been told that its tone was
inappropriate for a proper and serious book, this being my end in
doing this revising. The A visit paragraphs were basically just adjusted
bits of my Trip
Reports, which will remain hot-beds of frivolity and
cake-eating, have no fear.
My idea now if for the book of Churches of Venice to be
structured as a series of walks, maybe two for each sestiere, with
an index, of course, for finding the church's entries directly. I
can thereby provide something new with 'added content'. All comments
and encouragement welcome.
Going through each sestiere, I've made the 'reading' text
on each page 10pt (rather than 12) for various reasons, fixing
each entry's layout as I go. I've added some content too, mostly
involving lost paintings, and improved the Demolished page in a few
ways. I'm also cut'n'pasting just the text for
each church into a separate file for the eventual creation of...the
Copyright © Jeff Cotton 2007-2014