The 'astrological' façade of the of San Zulian church in VeniceUnknown places & works
The 'astrological' façade of the of San Zulian church in Venice
Near St Mark's Square in Venice, there is a small church dedicated to San Giuliano Ospitaliere (in Venetian dialect Zulian), with a decidedly unique facade: there is a sculpture in the centre and various inscriptions in different alphabets.
The facade was commissioned in 1553 by the doctor Tommaso Rangone, a singular character who had become very rich selling a natural remedy against syphilis derived from a native plant to South America. He wrote a famous treatment entitled 'How man can live longer than 120 years', in which he advised that consumption of drugs should be minimized and a healthy lifestyle practised, eating only a little and studying a lot.
On the facade one can see the doctor sitting on a funeral ark, wearing his professional toga (a symbol of his immense knowledge); his figure is inscribed in a semi-circular space, a symbol of heaven over earth and has on the right a celestial globe with an inclination of 44° 30'(the latitude of Venice) and shows the horoscope of the date of his birth (18 August 1493) with a sign of a lion at the centre. The globe is supported by a cube that represents stability as opposed to the movement, to the left there is instead a table with some books and a globe where you can see the Atlantic Ocean, which separates Europe from South America (where the plant for the treatment of syphilis came from).
Tommaso Rangone holds the miraculous plant in his right hand and a book in his left with the inscription DEUS HIQ that purports that God is on each side (in the sky and the earth).
The facade also shows three other inscriptions: one in Latin that discloses biographical and legal information, one in Greek that illustrates the cultural merits of Rangone and one in Hebrew that mentions the chance to live up to 120 years.
The San Zulian Church could be one of the destinations to include in your alternative route in Venice. Contact us now to request the availability of our guides and plan a unique tour of your dreams!
Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return
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’?
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
Venice: Fave dei Morti: the Venetian cookies of All Souls Day
As tradition dictates, every year, on the day when the deceased are commemorated (November 2), in Venice it is customary to prepare ‘...View
Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’
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
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