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The secrets of the Assumption in the Torcello Basilica in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

The secrets of the Assumption in the Torcello Basilica in Venice

15th August (bank holiday) celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin, a celebration to whom the cathedral on the small island of Torcello in the Venice lagoon is dedicated.

The Virgin of the Assumption dominates the central apse of the church in a magnificent mosaic from the 12th century. This image, typical of the Byzantine tradition, has brought different theological messages.

The Virgin points at the child with her right hand, because she wants to show him to worshippers and present him as the Saviour of the World and in fact doesn't look towards him but towards the aisle. In her left hand the Madonna squeezes a small white handkerchief: it symbolizes the shroud of Christ, and so a way to announce his future Passion and death on the cross. The child blesses with his right hand, whilst in the left he holds a sort of small scroll, which symbolizes the new alliance: in the Old Testament men stipulated an alliance with God through the patriarch Abraham, but the  wickedness of man destroyed the pact; with the birth of Jesus began a new alliance between God and humanity.

It is possible to visit the church every day from 10.30 am to 5 pm and guided tours of the Torcello Basilica are also available.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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