The Church and Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore

San GiorgioThis important Benedictine monastery was built on a small island, of the same name, by Andrea Palladio.  It is designed around the church and two cloisters.  Since 1951 it has been run by the Giorgio Cini Foundation.

The island of San Giorgio has been in Benedictine hands since 982.  It rose to glory between 1500 and 1600 with the works of Palladio, Carpaccio, Veronese, Tintoretto and Longhena.  Together they transformed the early structures into the monumental works we have today.
In 1800, in the conclave room in the Basilica, Cardinal Barnaba Chiaramonte was elected Pope Pius VII.  In 1951, Vittoria Cini inaugurated the Giorgio Cini Foundation which has become a Venetian cultural organisation known in international circles.
In 1954, the theatre, Teatro Verde, was opened in the island’s gardens looking out over the lagoon.
The view from the bell tower, erected in 1791, and replacing the 14th century one, is one of the best ways to see the whole of Venice.

The church, designed by Andrea Palladio (1566-83), was finished in 1611, after his death with the help of many big name architects of the time (1400s to 1600s) including Giovanni and Andrea Buora and Baldassare Longhena.  It retains the classic spatial features that inspired Palladio.
The inside is structured around a Latin cross design, with three naves and is the home of works of art by Jacopo Tintoretto, Jacopo Palma il Giovane, Sebastiano Ricci and Carpaccio.
Of particular interest is the main altar with two works of art, The Last Supper and Manna in the Desert by Tintoretto and on another altar, St George and the Dragon by Vittore Carpaccio (1516)


Useful information:

Visiting times: From May to September 9.30-12.30, 2.30-6.30
From October to April 9.30-12.30, 2.30-4.30
Entrance: free to visit the church;  bell tower € 3, students € 2 
Address: Isola di S.Giorgio Maggiore Giudecca cap 30133 - Venezia
Telephone: (+39)0415227827
Boat line Actv: boat stop: S.Giorgio

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