The most striking aspect of the Santa Sofia Church in the Cannaregio district of Venice is that you cannot see its facade. To enter the church it is necessary to walk through a corridor between the houses on Strada Nova.
Santa Sofia Church Venice
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Strada Nova, 4193 – 30121 Venezia. There is a small side entrance on Calle del Cristo. Telephone: +39 041 5221751. Opening hours: From 09.00 to 12.00. Closed: Thursday. Entrance fee: Free. (Note: Due to the Covid crisis, opening hours may differ from what is indicated here).
History and description
The first church to occupy this site was founded in 886 by one Giorgio Trilimpolo and was made of wood. In 1020 it was replaced by a stone building. In 1225 and 1568 major reconstructions took place, but the church acquired its present appearance only in 1698. The architect of this reconstruction was Antonio Gaspari.
As early as the beginning of the 16th century, a house and two stores were built against the façade. For this purpose the pronaos of the church had probably been modified.
In 1810, many churches were closed and the Santa Sofia Church suffered the same fate. The building was bought by a Jewish food trader who used it as a warehouse. Several works of art disappeared and were never recovered.
In 1836, the church was reopened.
The bell tower is now less tall than it originally was.
Works of art
The statues of the Saints Luca, Andrea, Cosma and Damiano are attributed to the workshop of Antonio Rizzo. They were made between 1468 and 1474. Originally they belonged to an altar in the no longer existing Santa Maria dei Servi Church.
A Gothic statue depicting the “Madonna and Child” came from the same church. It was made in the late 14th century by the French sculptor André Beauneveu.
There are paintings by Joseph Heintz (“The Baptism of Jesus”), Palma il Giovane and the workshop of Bassano (“Worship of the Magi”) and “Mocked Christ”).