Hidden treasures

The anatomical theatre in Venice in St Giacomo dell'Orio Square

Unknown places & works

The anatomical theatre in Venice in St Giacomo dell'Orio Square

In the district of Santa Croce in Venice, in the quiet St Giacomo dell'Orio Square, there are traces of an ancient anatomical theatre.

The original building was destroyed by a fire in 1800, but the two seventeenth century doors remain and, over the central door, the inscription DOM MEDICORUM PHYSICORUM COLLEGIUM (college of medical physicists).

Today the building contains private apartments, but the building once contained a large room with three rows of elliptical steps to watch the dissections of corpses, while upstairs there was a rich library, an archive and a room for doctors meetings.

Since 1368 Venice has made laws for the study of corpses, but it was always done in the vicinity of the holy places, to confirm that the doctor always needed God's help if they had to operate.

This anatomical theatre was inaugurated in 1671, thanks to the legacy of the patrician Lorenzo Loredan; and since 1760 it also housed the School of Obstetrics. This was very important because to be a midwife in Venice one had to be able to read, attend the demonstrations in the anatomy theatre for two years, practice with an older midwife and pass a sort of final exam.

If you want to know Venice from a new perspective, Francesca, a licensed tour guide and editor of this fascinating section, will be happy to accompany you to discover the lesser known places, often the protagonists of legends and dark mysteries. Ask for her availability and you can organize your personalized tour itinerary in Venice with her!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice

Unknown places & works

When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is alwa...

View

Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world

Historical Curiosities

Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...

View

Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice

Historical Curiosities

St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...

View

Treviso: Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Tomb in Altivole

Big Names

Near Asolo, the reign of the queen Catherine Corner, there is a small village called Altivole... Its cemetery is renowned for containin...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter

Mysteries & Legends

There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...

View

Venice: Campo delle Gatte in Venice

Unknown places & works

The names of the streets in Venice can be very unusual… For example, when you walk around the Castello district, you will come across...

View

Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople

Big Names

The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...

View

Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church

Historical Curiosities

In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...

View