Hidden treasures

Freemasons in Venice and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene

Mysteries & Legends
Massoneria_Maddalena

Freemasons in Venice and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene

Venice, an ever magic and mysterious city, was already in the 18th century the centre of an influential Freemasonry fraternity, whose members also included the famous adventurer Giacomo Casanova.

Here, the Freemasonry fraternity was so powerful and rich that they had a church built following the Freemasonry doctrines – the church of Saint Mary Magdalene in Cannaregio.

A few components of the Baffo family, affiliated to the Freemasonry in Venice, contracted the architect Tommaso Temanza, also a member of the fraternity, to build the ‘Freemasonry' church. Temenza designed a perfectly round building with a neo classic style and a symbol of the Freemasonry etched on the architrave of the main door – an eye inscribed within a circle and a pyramid with the writing ‘SAPIENTIA EDIFICAVIT SIBI DOMUM', a reference to the cult of the divine knowledge, which is at the base of the Freemason ideologies.

Temanza himself is buried inside the church and his headstone is decorated with a line and compasses, the most important symbol of the Freemasonry, as its members would define themselves as ‘builders'.

It is no surprise that this ‘Freemasonry' church is dedicated to Mary Magdalene, a mysterious figure, sometimes rejected by the church, beloved instead by the Freemasonry and its members who considered her a symbol of wisdom and the struggle against the obscurantism of the church.

Unfortunately, this church is not open to visitors but if the unusual places of Venice are the ones that interest you the most, contact us! We will create an unforgettable personalized tour in Venice just for you in collaboration with Francesca, the editor of this popular section.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

View

Romano D' Ezzellino: Why do they say ‘If you can't sleep, count sheep’?

contare-le-pecore
Figures of speech

It all started in Romano d’Ezzelino in the province of Vicenza when Ezzelino da Romano, who suffered from insomnia, hired a storytell...

View

Top posts

Venice: The red lights of St Mark’s Basilica in memory of the poor ‘fornareto’

il_fornareto
Mysteries & Legends

If you find yourself wandering around St Mark’s Basilica in the evening, take a look at its southern façade ... you will notice two ...

View

Treviso: Why is Prosecco wine called precisely Prosecco?

colline-del-prosecco
Did you know that...

On 7 July 2019, Veneto and the whole of Italy toasted to the Prosecco Hills, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The World Heritage Commi...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View