Hidden treasures

The Doge's wife Morosina Morosini and the golden rose in the treasury of St Mark's in Venice

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The Doge's wife Morosina Morosini and the golden rose in the treasury of St Mark's in Venice

St. Mark's Basilica houses an incredible treasure: reliquaries and objects in precious materials. Among these you can see several  golden roses, a gift of the Popes.

According to legend, it was the custom of the popes to donate gold roses to people who had distinguished themselves - dating from 813, when, during the Council of Tours, Pope Urban II blessed a rose and gave it as a gift to a prince who more than others had rendered services to the Church.

One of the roses kept in the treasury of St an Mark's in Venice was given to Morosina Morosini, wife of the Doge Marino Grimani.

When, in 1597, her husband was elected to the highest state office,  a grand party for the coronation was organised for her. The Duchess arrived in St Mark's Square on board the Bucintoro (the golden ship used by the Doge for the most important ceremonies), with a following of 400 ladies, through a triumphal arch erected for the occasion on the shore and was greeted by 300 guns. There was a solemn Mass in the Basilica, and a dance that lasted two days. During the festivities Pope Clement VIII,  offered her the golden rose!

During her tenure the Dogaressa Morosina made a great effort to relaunch the lace of Burano, and founded at her own expense a school for lace makers, thereby making it popular even among the noble women of the city.

To see the gorgeous rose donated to the Doge's wife Morosina, kept in the Treasury of St Mark's, you can book our tour of the St Marks Cathedral and its Treasures, which includes a visit to the treasury, or decide to reserve the service of privileged access to St Mark's and visit the treasury alone: please note that access to the treasury requires an additional ticket, only available on site at the time of the visit!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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