Castello: Venice Hotel Accommodation Guide
Places to see in Castello
Campo Santa Maria Formosa ('Shapely St Mary'), is a large, bustling, irregular-shaped square that is very centrally located. It has a fine church, a small market,a couple of bars and an undertaker. Constantly buzzing with both Venetians and tourists, the square is surrounded by palazzi that range in style from the very grand to the very homely.
Campo della Tana.
In this Campo there was the entrance to extensive premises belonging to the Arsenale, in which rope was made. The hemp for the ropes came from the Russian city of Tanai, from which the name 'Tana' is taken.
Ponte dell'Arsenale or Ponte del Paradiso. This probably relates to Dante's visit to the Arsenal. Next door can be found the 'Ponte dell'Inferno' and 'Ponte del Purgatorio', which refer to three books of the Divine Comedy ('Inferno', 'Purgatorio' and 'Paradiso').
Fondamenta dei Felzi.
It was here that 'felzi' or cabins of the gondolas were made.
Calle de la Cavallerizza.
"Cavallerizza dei Nobili" was the name of a stable that existed from the seventeenth century until the end of the Venetian Republic.
The Tourist Board of Venice recommends quite a few places to see in Castello:
Cathedral of San Pietro di Castello
For many centuries the cathedral was under the authority of the Patriarch of Grado. In 1451 Venice obtained its own patriarch, hence the church became a cathedral. As a result of Napoleon's edicts in 1807, San Marco became the new cathedral and instead of just being a chapel of the Doge it became the seat of the Patriarch.
Antico Arsenale (Old Arsenal)
It can be recognised by its terracotta walls and square towers. It was an essential part of the life of the republic from the thirteenth century and was a giant shipyard where Venice’s warships were built when she was a world power
Historical Naval Museum
All about the naval history of the Venetian Republic.
Church of San Giovanni in Bragora
It stands in the campo of the same name which is surrounded by old palazzi. The church was originally built in the eighth century and was founded by San Magno, the bishop of Oderzo. The inside of the church is still in the form of a Basilica, and has three naves and a Gothic trussed ceiling.
Church of Visitazione o della Pietà
It was so called because it is near the old orphanage of Calle della Pietà. It was rebuilt in the eighteenth century by Giorgio Massari.
School and church of San Giorgio dei Greci
In 1526 the Greek Community in Venice was second only to that of the Jews, and obtained permission from the Patriarch to hold Greek Orthodox services. In 1539 they built the church of San Nicolò in the style favoured by Sansovino and the nearby school of San Nicolò. This houses a collection of liturgical art and precious Byzantine icons. A part of the collection is housed in the istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Post-Bizantini.
Church of San Zaccaria
Originally, there was a Benedictine nunnery next to it (which was then suppressed by the Napoleonic edicts). The nunnery was reserved for young Patrician novices, even if they had no vocation. As it belonged to the Benedictine order the rules were fairly lax. The church was founded in the ninth and was renovated several times in different architectural styles that can still be seen today. The belltower dates back to the ninth century. The most important work was carried out in 1458 and culminated in the impressive façade by Codussi.
Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Built in 1368, a fine Gothic building with a basilica and 5 Gothic apses. it is venice's Pantheon because it holds the tombs of twenty-five doges, great commanders and famous men of the Venetian Republic, whose remains are housed in fine tombs. In addition, a large polyptych by Giovanni Bellini decorates the altar by Vincenzo Ferrer, and an altar-piece by Lorenzo Lotto displays the alms of Saint Anthony.
Church of Santa Maria Formosa
Legend has it that San Magno ordered it to be built. It was rebuilt in the eleventh century and was then rebuilt on the previous foundations in 1492, although the original layout in the shape of a Greek cross was maintained. The church is in one of the finest of Venice's campi. It is surrounded by private palazzi from different periods, as can be seen from architectural styles of their façades.
Palace Querini Stampalia
In Renaissance style, the palace houses ancient furnishings and paintings of great value and a sizeable library.
Church of San Francesco della Vigna
It was built on a vineyard donated to the Franciscans by Marco Ziani, the son of the Doge Pietro in 1253. That is why it is still called San Francesco della Vigna (vigna meaning vineyard). The church was rebuilt to a design by Jacopo Sansovino, although the elegant façade is by Palladio.
Next page: Castello hotel recommendations
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