Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MDHS Incantato Concert venue in Venice: Church of San Stae

The church in central Venice called San Stae is said to have been founded in 966 and dedicated to San Eustachio. The church's name is an abbreviation for San Eustachio, who becomes San Stae in Venetian dialect. 

The first written reference to the church dates back to 1290. The original church, which was side-on to the Grand Canal was demolished in 1678 and the current church was built by Giovanni Grassi, who realigned it to face the Grand Canal. The façade of 1709 is by Domenico Rossi, whose design was the winner amongst twelve designs submitted in competition. It was paid for by a legacy in the will of Doge Alvise Mecenigo and features the work of seven sculptors, the statues being of various virtues, saints and angels. 

The church was restored recently by the Swiss Pro-Venezia Committee and is a bit of a who's who of 18th century Venetian painters. The paintings inside the church include "The Martyrdom" of Saint Bartholomew, which is pretty famous, not just for being a highlight of the "Glory of Venice" exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 1994. 

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