The Church of San Stae in the sestiere Santa Croce in Venice was originally built in the 12th century. The present church, which is located in a picturesque position at the southern bank of the Grand Canal, is the result of a 17th century reconstruction. There are several important works of art inside the church, especially in the presbytery.
San Stae Church Venice
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Campo San Stae – Venice (tel. +39 041 2750462). Sestiere: Santa Croce. Opening times: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 till 17.00. Closed: Sundays, 1 January, Easter, 15 August, 25 December. Admission: 3 Euros (discount 1,50 Euros). Chorus Pass is valid. Public transport: Vaporetta line 1, N (stop S. Stae).
History and description
The oldest documents referring to the San Stae Church go back to the year 1127. In the 17th century, the architect changed the orientation so that the church ended up perpendicular to the Canal Grande.
The Doge Alvise II Mocenigo had Domenico Rossi construct a new facade between 1709 and 1710. Around a dozen architects had applied for this prestigious job. The facade is decorated with statues by Giuseppe Torretto, Antonio Tarsia, Pietro Baratta and Antonio Corradini.
Doge Alvise and his family are buried inside the church.
The rather elaborate baroque split tympan clashes slightly with the rest of the facade.
The design of the interior was influence by Palladio. Thanks to the white walls it is very light inside the church. The three naves are flanked by three chapels on each side.
Works of art
The three altars along the right nave are enriched by painting by, in order, Nicolò Bambini, Giuseppe Camerata and Antonio Balestra. Balestra was responsible for the chapel belonging to the goldsmiths’ guild, which had its seat next-door to the church.
The Foscarini Chapel in the left nave houses paintings by Giuseppe Torretto and Pietro Baratta. The other two chapel on this side are enlivened by works by Francesco Migliori (“Ascension”) and Jacopo Amigoni.
The biggest attractions are in the presbytery, however. The 1708 ceiling fresco is by Bartolomeo Litterini and depicts the “Virtues”. Het got help from two fellow students at the Scuola del Santissimo.
Giuseppe Angeli painted the “Sacrifice of Melchisedech” and the “Fall of Manna”. The twelve smaller sized painting above and below these works depict the apostles.
The main highlights are the “Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew” (Tiepolo, 1722), “Saint James the Great” (Giambattista Piazzetta, 1717) and “The Liberation of St. Peter” (Sebastiano Ricci, 1717-1724).
The “Crucifixion” in the sacristy was painted in the 17thcentury by Maffeo Verona. Giambattista Pittoni painted the “Emperor orders a sacrifice to the Gods” (1722) and Bartolomeo Litterini was responsible for “Saint Eustace in prison” (18e eeuw).
San Stae is the Venetian name for Sant’Eustachio (“Saint Eustace”).
The acoustics in the church are excellent. Nowadays it is often used for concerts.