Hidden treasures

The cloister of Venice Patriarchal Seminary

Unknown places & works
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The cloister of Venice Patriarchal Seminary

The palace located next to the wonderful Salute Basilica on the Grand Canal houses Venice Patriarchal Seminary, designed by famous Italian architect Baldassarre Longhena in 1669 to host the monastery of the Somascan Fathers.

In 1810, after the suppression of all religious congregations ordered by Napoleon, the building became a State property and the Patriarchal Seminary was moved there in 1818.

From then on, Canon Giannantonio Moschini started to collect not only gravestone and epigraph fragments coming from the churches that were demolished or suppressed in those years, but also many archaeological pieces of different origins.

This is how the cloister of the former monastery became an incredible open-air museum, where Venetian history is told by its stones.

For example, there is a Roman sepulchral altar (probably coming from Altino), which was then modified to add a ship with the Crusades sail; Roman milestones found in the Belltower foundations of San Pietro di Castello, the ancient cathedral of Venice; the tombstones of old knights and dignitaries of the Venice Republic within Gothic frames; the headstone of famous 16th – century scholar Tommaso Rangone, the astrologist who forecast a new deluge in 1524 and wrote a manual with tips to live up to 120 years; the Renaissance statue of St. Marina, which decorated the main altar of the church dedicated to the same saint and was annually visited by the Doge before being turned into a hostaria and finally destroyed, etc.

The cloister of Venice Patriarchal Seminary can be visited every day together with the magnificent Manfrediana Art Gallery.

If you found this post interesting and would like to discover other extraordinary unusual places of Venice, the editor of this popular section will organise a tailor-made itinerary just for you!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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