|Although this church is far from central Venice, it is readily visible on the island of the Giudecca across from the piazza of San Marco and other important locations. (The pictures directly below were taken from across the canal.) The church was dedicated to the savior, "il redentore," and commissioned from Palladio by the Senate as a means of invoking divine aid in delivering the city of Venice from a serious outbreak of the plague (in 1575-76). In addition, the Senate pledged that every year there would be a procession on pontoon bridges to this church to celebrate and give thanks for the end of the plague--a tradition still practiced annually on the third Sunday of July. See also Canaletto's painting of this beautiful church.|
The facade of temple frontsThe higher roofs of the nave culminate in the large dome, which dominates the interior. The mass of the exterior is in terra cotta brick but the facade is white marble. It fronts the Canal with only a narrow piazza before the entrance.
|Like San Giorgio Maggiore by Palladio--and virtually next to it on the canal, this facade has interlocking temple fronts, here with a main pediment supported by four columns. This front is superimposed on a lower and wider temple front. A third partial pediment is higher and behind this arrangement of temple facades. The central temple front is more prominent by being raised on a high podium with a wide stairway leading upward--a feature also common in Palladio's villas. See, for example, the Rotonda.|
Details of the central temple front
The entrance portalThe pedimented portal is framed by engaged half columns. Niches with sculpture frame the portal, one of which has a representation of St. Mark with his symbols, the lion and his Gospel. The other sculptural figure is St. Francis. (Thanks to Carlès Quesada i Arana for this information.)
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