The School of Albanians in St Maurizio in VeniceUnknown places & works
The School of Albanians in St Maurizio in Venice
To reach St Maurizio Square in Venice, along the route towards St Mark's Square, you will cross a small narrow street where no one usually stops. In fact, this little street hides a very special building: the Albanian School.
In Venice, the word "School" indicates a religious brotherhood and this group in particular was for fellow Albanians residing or passing through Venice.
The small facade is decorated with elegant reliefs depicting the Virgin and Child between Saints Gallo and Mauritius. However, what is most striking is the upper part which shows the Sultan Mohammed II who is observing the castle of Scutari: this gives an allusion of the Ottoman advance in the Balkans and also Albania. The same Scutari did indeed fall in 1479 and as a result many Albanian refugees, in fact, came to Venice.
In 1504-1508 the main hall of the school was decorated with a cycle of canvases with Stories of the Virgin by Vittore Carpaccio, largely the result of aid (and now distributed among the museums of Venice, Milan and Bergamo).
In 1780 the building housed the PistoriSchool, that is, the bakers, but in 1808, like other Venetian confraternities, it was suppressed by the Napoleonic laws and its accompanying artistic works of art and decorations dispersed. Today it houses private apartments.
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