The Oratorio dei Crocificeri in Venice is a former church built in the 12th century, to which a hostel for pilgrims was attached. The main attraction in the building is the cycle of paintings by Palma il Giovane, highlighting the history of the order of the Crociferi.
Oratorio dei Crociferi Venice
Address, opening times and admission
Address : Campo dei Gesuiti – Venice (tel. +39 041 2719012). Opening Hours: The church can be visited by appointment only. Entrance fee: Unknown. Public transportation: Lines 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 22 (Fondamente Nove stop). (At the moment, June 2021, the church is closed because of Covid.)
History and description
The Crocificeri were an order that settled in Venice in the 12th century. They opened a shelter for mendicants. The oratory was built a century later by converting the adjacent hospital, which was commissioned by the then Doge Raniero Zen.
During the 16th century, Doge Pasquale Cicogna had the building completely renovated. He also had the fresco cycle depicting events in the history of the order painted by Palma il Giovane.
The building is characterized by a simple Gothic facade. The upper floor is connected to the adjacent Palazzo Zen by a covered skybridge.
Palma il Giovane worked on his cycle of paintings from 1583 to 1592. In addition to events that highlight the history of the order, important moments in the lives of Raniero Zen and Pasquale Cicogna are depicted.
The building facing the oratorium with the crosses above the portal also refers to the presence of the order.
In the nearby sacristy of the Jesuits, paintings by Palma di Giovane from the former church are kept.
In 1984, after a long restoration, the church was reopened for visitors. The restoration was necessary after damage caused by a flooding in 1966.