Hidden treasures

The Medical Library at the Scuola Grande of St Mark's in Venice

Unknown places & works
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The Medical Library at the Scuola Grande of St Mark's in Venice

Recently the city of Venice has recovered a monument which was almost forgotten: the Scuola Grande of St Mark's. In fact, this monument has always been under the eyes of everyone, since the beginning of the 19th century when the building that housed a religious brotherhood (called school in Venetian) became a civil hospital together with the adjacent monastery of the Dominicans and the old Hospital of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti.

After a careful restoration, the two large halls of the old School have recovered their former glory and are now home to an important medical library. It is very ancient, as it comes from the library of the Dominican convent attached to the church of Santi Giovanni and Paolo, which can be traced back to the fourteenth century. Currently, the stock of the library contains more than 8,000 volumes, among which are ancient manuscripts and printed editions from the fathers of ancient medicine Ippocrate and Galeno, Avicenna's Canon, the Dictionarum Medicum of Estienne, the surgery writings of James Berengar, and many others.

In the Chapter Hall you can also admire ancient surgical instruments and projects from the 19th and 20th centuries of the hospital.

And if you are passionate about the history of the Venetian republic, the best way of finding out more about it is by visiting its two most important buildings. Our guided tour of St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace will take you inside the history of Venice!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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