Hidden treasures

St Peters throne in the Cathedral of Castello

Unknown places & works

St Peters throne in the Cathedral of Castello

Far from the usual tourist destinations, in the sestiere of Castello in Venice you can find the old city's cathedral: St Peter in Castello, one of the oldest churches in Venice, built in the 7th century where a byzantine fortress – called the Castle, hence the name of the sestiere - once stood.

This church conceals one of the most unusual hidden treasures of Venice – a throne that apparently once belonged to the Apostle Peter during his preaching as a bishop in Antioch, Siria.

The story goes that the throne was originally donated to the Doge Pietro Tradonico by the Constantinople's Emperor Michael III in the 9th century. In reality, the throne does not have a Christian origin, as its backing was built from an ancient Islamic funeral stone bearing Arabic decorations and etched Kufic characters of verses from the Koran.

The seat was probably built in the course of the 13th century, perhaps in Antioch itself, and then brought to Venice, to augment the prestige of the cathedral, which could in this way boast to owning an object that once belonged to the Apostle Peter.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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