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The List    The Lost Churches




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

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This is Me

This site now has its own Facebook page...
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Progress reports

March 2014

A sudden trip, written up here, which resulted in some spruced-up and updated entries, and entrance to a couple of churches I'd not been in before. And a painfully twisted ankle.

January 2014
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 degli Incurabili.

December 2013
Due 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 page.

Late-September 2013
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 new photos.

September 2013
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.

July 2013
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.

June 2013
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.

April 2013
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.

February 2013
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 book!

Copyright © Jeff Cotton 2007-2014


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