Church of the Salute
It stands majestic reflecting its shadow onto the Grand Canal and Saint Mark's Basin just a few steps from Punta della Dogana, in Dorsoduro.
This Church has been built for a vow made by Venitians for the liberation from 1630's plague. Today, every year on November 21st, the city celebrates the Madonna della Salute Feast. For the happening, a floating bridge made of boats is built from Saint Mark up to the Church. Together with the Redentore's Feast, this is one of the most beautiful days for Venice and its inhabitants.
The Church has been designed by Baldassare Longhena, that imagined a Church with the shape of a crown dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The building has been officially finished on November 9th, 1687, after the blessing of Patriarch Alvise Sagredo. It’s one of the most beautiful expressions of the Baroque Architecture in Venice.
The central part has an octagonal shape over which stands a big hemispheric dome. Around it there are six minor chapels. The central part is connected on the south side with the presbytery, covered by another smaller dome, in the middle of two bell towers.
Inside the Church you can admire a sculptural group (representing a Madonna with the Child: the Salute that defends Venice from the plague) by the artist Josse Le Court (Josse de Corte) located on the altar (work by Longhena).
The altar contains a Byzantine Icon: Our Lady of Health (or Mesopanditissa), coming from Crete and brought to Venice by Francesco Morosini in 1670.
In the side chapels there are canvases by Luca Giordano and the Descent of the Spirit by Titian (1555).