Located in the proximity of the famed Mercerie, the main shopping street of Venice, the Church of San Salvador (or San Salvatore), as it stands today in all its architectural splendor, was largely built in the early 16th century, on the site of an older place of worship first erected in the 7th century and then rebuilt in the 12th century. Hints on the existence of this older edifice are rendered on a 15th century map of De Barbari.

The architect in charge with the design of the 16th century church was Giorgio Spavento. The works began in 1508, but the chief architect died in the mean time, which is why he was succeeded by Tullio Lombardo and Vincenzo Scamozzi. In all likelihood, Jacopo Sansovino was also commissioned to join the team of architects in charge with finishing the works initiated by Spavento (what is certain is the cloisters in the adjoining monastery were, indeed, designed by Sansovino). The facade was added about a century later. It was designed by Giuseppe Sardi, but sundry decorative elements which embellish it were realized by Bernardo Falcone.

The interior of the church strikes by the wideness of hall, as well as by the overall darkness of the atmosphere, here and there pierced buy rays coming from the lanterns of each of the three domes. The grayness of the interior is, however, softened, so to speak, by the plethora of works of art which populate the church. Highlights in this respect refer to an altar designed by Sansovino, as well as to Doge Francesco Venier’s tomb (it too designed by Sansovino). This altar is embellished by a work by Titian (a scene of the Annunciation). The high altar also features a work by the same Titian (the Transfiguration). Plenty of paintings are scattered throughout the church, such as masterpieces by Palma Giovane, Franceso Vecellio and Paris Bordone. A work created by artists raised at the Bellini school can also be spotted nearby the high altar (the paternity of this work remains uncertain).

Furthermore, what is also worth mentioning is the Church of San Salvador is one of the most dynamic churches in Venice. The community of parishioners often organizes exhibitions and concerts, being also in charge with all sorts of initiatives (social, religious and cultural events). In order to keep posted by the eventful calendar of the community, visiting hours and the like, follow the indications below:

Church of San Salvador (Chiesa di San Salvador / Chiesa di San Salvatore)
4835, San Marco, Venice, Italy
0039 041 5236717
[email protected]
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