Chiesa di San Maurizio - Il Museo della Musica

Friday, September 1st, 2023

The Candian family (called Sanudo) is credited with the construction of the Church of St. Maurice and Lazarus. Originally the facade faced the rio del Santissimo and had a churchyard at the foot of the bridge that still leads to the campo di Santo Stefano. The bell tower stood at the corner between the campo and the calle. The church turned its right side onto the vast field with its perfectly regular perimeter. From the ninth century until the end of the sixteenth century the chronicles give no more news of the Church of St. Maurice with reference to the architectural structure, but it is certain that it underwent a rebuilding, following a fire that had destroyed its building structures, which was completed in 1105. At the end of the 15th century, the church still had a basilican structure with three naves of clear Byzantine influence, the result of an intervention carried out in the first half of the 12th century. Other restoration and renovation works were certainly carried out in the Gothic period. After many centuries of silence the papers report that in 1580 the Church of St. Maurice was completely rebuilt and consecrated. It can be assumed that on this occasion, according to the new architectural theories related to the function of spaces, the new factory underwent an entire rotation so that the main front corresponded to the campo. Recall that earlier, that is, towards the middle of the century, the old bell tower had been demolished to allow the construction of the grandiose Bellavite Palace, whose facade on the campo seems to have been frescoed by Paolo Veronese. Dionisio Bellavite, a wealthy merchant, had in fact obtained the concession of the area and permission to remove the bell tower in exchange for the payment of an annual tax for the benefit of the Church of San Maurizio, a tax that Bellavite was still continuing to pay in 1564. Of the church, erected in 1590, we have no other news or surviving elements since in 1806 it was demolished and rebuilt according to the design of Antonio Diedo and Giovan Antonio Selva. The present building, consecrated in 1828, has a Greek-cross plan with a central dome and blind hemispherical domes on the sides. The general design seems to be inspired by Sansovino's Church of San Geminiano. Adjoining the left flank of the church rose the building of the School of the Albanians. The school is mentioned as early as 1489 and again in 1501 and 1502, years during which the interior decoration of the ceilings and furnishings were being completed. In 1531 a new intervention completed the facade on calle del Piovan, which can still be seen today, adorned with elegant and well-crafted bas-reliefs of clear classical-Renaissance workmanship.

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