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Zitelle Church

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The Church of Zitelle it is on the Giudecca Isle (Sestiere of Dorsoduro) facing the homonymous canal.

The project is attribute to Palladio even is there are no documents that could prove it and asw well few aspect of the façade and the interiors does not reproduce perfectly the classic style of the famous Architect.
The Church, consecrated to the introduction of the Virgin Mary is part of a complex that includes also a monastery and an Hospice. It has been erected between 1581 and 1588 after the Palladio death, however big expense for the purchase of building materials are documented when he was still alive.

The ecclesiastic complex was built for the purpose of aid the “Zitelle” (young girls in the age for marriage) but without any dowry and probably destined to become prostitutes. At the times of the Republic the prostitution was allowed and there were houses where the prostitute could work.

The church has a façade divided in two orders one decorated with two windows, a very high structure, the other one is provided with a thermal, everything is surmounted by a massive tympanum, the church has a big dome with a lantern and two small bell towers beside the dome itself.

The dome curve dominates also the interior of the church, by the sides there are two altars, the one on the left is decorated with paintworks of Aliense whilst the one on the left by Palma il Giovane
The major altar is decorated with an opera by Leandro Bassano: “ introduction to the temple”.
The church is connected with the rest of the building by two little chorus that has direct access to the hospice, the rest of the complex look like an horseshoe surrounding the church itself, with a court between the church and the complex itself.

The building is open to the public on Friday and Saturday fro 3,30 p.m. to 6,30 pm, it is reachable by public transport lines (Zitelle boat stop).

  • Cultural
  • Heritage

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