Hidden treasures

The anatomical theatre in Venice in St Giacomo dell'Orio Square

Unknown places & works
teatro_anatomico

The anatomical theatre in Venice in St Giacomo dell'Orio Square

In the district of Santa Croce in Venice, in the quiet St Giacomo dell'Orio Square, there are traces of an ancient anatomical theatre.

The original building was destroyed by a fire in 1800, but the two seventeenth century doors remain and, over the central door, the inscription DOM MEDICORUM PHYSICORUM COLLEGIUM (college of medical physicists).

Today the building contains private apartments, but the building once contained a large room with three rows of elliptical steps to watch the dissections of corpses, while upstairs there was a rich library, an archive and a room for doctors meetings.

Since 1368 Venice has made laws for the study of corpses, but it was always done in the vicinity of the holy places, to confirm that the doctor always needed God's help if they had to operate.

This anatomical theatre was inaugurated in 1671, thanks to the legacy of the patrician Lorenzo Loredan; and since 1760 it also housed the School of Obstetrics. This was very important because to be a midwife in Venice one had to be able to read, attend the demonstrations in the anatomy theatre for two years, practice with an older midwife and pass a sort of final exam.

If you want to know Venice from a new perspective, Francesca, a licensed tour guide and editor of this fascinating section, will be happy to accompany you to discover the lesser known places, often the protagonists of legends and dark mysteries. Ask for her availability and you can organize your personalized tour itinerary in Venice with her!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

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

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day

fave-dei-morti
Local Traditions

As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View