The Church of San MartinoLocal Traditions
The Church of San Martino
St. Martin, bishop of Tours, is one of the most famous Saints of Christianity, and was also one of the most revered Saints in the Middle Ages. In Venice his cult is so rooted that still today, on November 11th, the Saint's day, Venetian children prepare a San Martino biscuit and go around the city banging tin lids and singing.
Right from its origins, Venice has had a church dedicated to this saint. According to tradition, it was founded at the end of the 6th century, although it seems more likely to date back to around the middle of the 8th century.
The current building dates back to the 16th century and was designed by Jacopo Sansovino: the architect rotated the entire structure by ninety degrees and gave it a square plan, adding two chapels on each side and the presbytery with a vaulted ceiling, frescoed with the painting ‘Gloria di San Martino’ by Jacopo Guarana.
Inside the church you can immediately see the parapet of the ornate organ of the Supper of Christ by Gerolamo Santacroce (1549), the funeral monument dedicated to the doge Francesco Erizzo, designed by Mattia Carnero (1633), Our Lady of Sorrows and the Deposition of Christ by Palma il Giovane and finally a small altar by Tullio Lombardo, now used as a baptistery, coming from the demolished church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Church of San Martino is located in the Castello district, a short distance from the Venice Arsenal! To reach it, we recommend using the vaporetto and getting off at the 'Arsenale' stop.
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