Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas in Venezia - Santa Maria della Salute

This photo, taken by Nereo Zane on December 5th, 2005, is a striking view of the church known as Santa Maria della Salute. Construction of this church began in 1631 and was completed in 1687. This famous hall of worship was built to give thanks for deliverance from a terrible plague which devastated Venice. The architect was a 32 year old Baldassare Longhena. Believe it or not, this was his first major commission. When Longhena died in 1682, construction was completed by Antonio Gaspari.

During the Festival of La Salute in November, gondoliers have traditionally brought their oars to be blessed on the steps of the basilica.

Shot from a vaporetto stop across the Grand Canal, this image truly captures Longhena’s dramatic two-domed design.

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