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

Padua: Villa Grimani Valmarana Calergi in Noventa Padovana

villa-grimani-calergi-valmarana
Unknown places & works

Veneto is undoubtedly the region of Villas, magnificent resorts and ancient places of idleness for Venetian nobles. Yet their origins a...

View

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Padua: The collections of the Convent of St. John in Verdara in Padua

eremitani-padova
Unknown places & works

The most beautiful museum in Padua is undoubtedly the Eremitani museum, created in 1895 to house the city's collections. The original s...

View

Venice: The leaning bell tower on the island of Burano in the Venice lagoon

campanile-burano
Historical Curiosities

The Venice lagoon has many small islands just waiting to be discovered! Burano is certainly one of them: houses with brightly colours, ...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Italia Theatre in Cannaregio

teatro_Italia_venezia
Unknown places & works

Along the busy road linking Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto Bridge in Venice there stands a peculiar neo-Gothic building with t...

View

Verona: Juliet’s balcony in Verona

balcone-giulietta-verona
Big Names

When visiting the beautiful city of Verona, Casa di Giulietta - the house of Juliet, the character immortalized by William Shakespeare ...

View

Venice: St Mark's and Rice and Peas in Venice

risiebisi-venezia
Local Traditions

The city of Venice has many traditional recipes: and so a visit to Venice is not complete without a dining experience! To worthily cele...

View

Venice: The Devil's Bridge on the Island of Torcello in the Venice lagoon

Ponte_Diavolo
Mysteries & Legends

When venturing to the remote Island of Torcello – an ancient settlement of the Venice lagoon – tourists are struck by a stone bridg...

View