The Dominicans Library in the Santi Giovanni e Paolo Convent in VeniceUnknown places & works
The Dominicans Library in the Santi Giovanni e Paolo Convent in Venice
The hospital of Venice is really a complex of singular buildings. Once there was the Scuola Grande of St Mark's and the Dominicans convent. After the Napoleonic suppression a considerable part of these institutions was partially lost, but something still remains...
On the first floor of the hospital, on a long corridor where there were the monks' cells, there is the door of the Convent Library. It was rebuilt in its present form at the end of 1600s by the famous architect Baldassarre Longhena, to house the rich collection of manuscripts and illuminated manuscripts that the Dominican friars consulted for their theological studies.
The walls were decorated with the book cabinets and interspersed with carved statues representing the greatest heretics of the time (for example, Martin Luther or Calvin), chained and screaming. On the ceiling there are portraits of the greatest Dominicans thinkers and theologians and, in the centre, there are three paintings by Federico Cervelli, representing Wisdom, Prudence and Fear. This decorative complex symbolized the mission of the Dominicans: the fight of heresy for the triumph of the Catholic faith.
When the convent was passed to the State to become the Civil Hospital of Venice headquarters, it suffered heavy losses: cupboards disappeared (books fortunately went to the library of the Patriarchal Seminary, where they are now) and in their place windows were opened, while the fantastic statues (sculpted by Giuseppe Torretti) were sold in England and no further information is known about them...
Exceptionally, during the spring days of the FAI (21 and 22 March), the Dominicans' complex and its splendid library will be open to the public! If you want to visit these extraordinary buildings with Francesca, send us your request right away! Our brilliant guide will share other curious anecdotes about these fascinating buildings!
Venice: Prospero Alpini and the discovery of coffee in Europe
Everyone knows about coffee, the energizing and hearty drink consumed by millions of people every day! We Italians are great coffee dri...View
Venice: The bridge of Fists in the Dorsoduro district
The Bridge of Fists, located in the Dorsoduro district, owes its name to an ancient tradition of Venice: the War of Fists. The inhabita...View
Venice: The red stone of the 'Sotoportego de la peste'
Mysteries & Legends
Walking around Venice along the narrow streets and across the squares, you could happen to notice strange slabs on the pavement... whic...View
Treviso: Mr. Carnevale’s confetti factory in Paese
We all know what confetti is! It is little pieces of colored paper that are thrown into the air during the course of carnival celebrati...View
Padua: The biodiversity garden in the Padua Botanical Garden
Unknown places & works
Founded in 1545, the Botanical Garden of Padua is the oldest botanical garden in the world to be still in its original location; it cov...View
Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal
Mysteries & Legends
One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...View
Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona
One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...View