San Pietro di Castello Church Venice

The San Pietro di Castello Church is located on the east side of Venice on the island originally called Olivolo, but now known as Castello. It is one of the oldest churches in the city and served as the Cathedral of Venice until 1807. The 17th century façade is based on an older design by Palladio.

San Pietro di Castello Church Venice

Adres, openingstijden en toegangsprijs

Address : Campo San Pietro – Venice (tel. +39 041 2750462). Opening hours: Monday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed: Sunday, January 1, Easter, August 15, December 25. Admission: 3 Euro (discount 1,50 Euro). Chorus Pass valid. Public transportation: Line 5.2, 4.2, 6 (stop Giardini Biennale DX); Line 4.1, 5.1, 6 (stop Giardini Biennale SX); Line 1, N (stop Giardini).

History and description

San Pietro di Castello Church Venice
San Pietro di Castello Church

The first church to have been built here was dedicated to the Byzantine saints Sergio and Bacco. The present San Pietro Church was constructed in the 11th century, by order of Bishop Magno, at the same time as a number of other churches.

Castello was the site of the first settlement that was to develop into present day Venice. It remained the religious, political and commercial center of the city for centuries. The San Pietro Church was an early bishop’s seat and until 1807 it even served as the cathedral of Venice.

The bell tower was built by Mauro Codussi in 1490.

In 1559, the patriarch Vincenzo Diedo commissioned the architect Palladio to renovate the church, but the plans were not implemented.

Eventually, Francesco Smeraldi was to remodel the façade in the early 17th century, based on Palladio‘s drawings.

The floor plan is that of a Latin cross and the church consists of three naves. The decorations were largely added in the 17th century, after the original interior had been badly damaged by a fire.

The main altar was designed by Baldassare Longhena in 1649 and houses the mortal remains of the first patriarch of Venice, San Lorenzo Giustiniani.

In the right nave, one can see the Bishop’s Seat of San Pietro. This was the seat of the saint in Antioch and was probably made in the 13th century using an Arabic memorial stone with inscriptions from the Koran.

Highlights are the chapels in the presbytery, which include “The Plague of Snakes” by Pietro Liberi from 1660. Also on display is a crucifix made of wood and copper displaying both Byzantine and Romanesque elements.

Baldassare Longhena was responsible for the Vendramin Chapel in the transept. The “Mary with Child and Souls in Purgatory” was painted by Luca Giordano in 1650.

The mosaic at the altar in the Lando Chapel was created by Arminio Zuccato and is based on a drawing by Tintoretto.

San Pietro di Castello Church Venice

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