San Giorgio Maggiore

San Giorgio Maggiore Facade
San Giorgio Maggiore Facade

San Giorgio Maggiore is a Venice island that can be seen from various vantage points around town, including the waterfront area near Piazza San Marco. The small and tranquil island is best known for its resident church – the San Giorgio Maggiore Church. Another attraction of note on San Giorgio Maggiore Island is the San Giorgio Monastery, which was founded in 982 AD and today serves as the headquarters for the Cini Foundation. Another reason to hop over to San Giorgio Maggiore while in Venice is to revel in the views of the Venice skyline. To get to the island, you can take a public water boat or a water taxi from the main San Marco tourist area of Venice, and while the accommodations are limited, there are some guest rooms at the monastery that can be interesting to rent. You might even get a room with a balcony that offers views of St. Mark’s Campanile.

San Giorgio Maggiore Church

San Giorgio Maggiore Tower
San Giorgio Maggiore Tower

An architectural masterpiece, the San Giorgio Maggiore Church is the island of San Giorgio Maggiore’s main attraction. Built between the years of 1566 and 1610 AD, the church has a Classical Renaissance style and gets a lot of praise for its brilliant white marble façade. Other highlights for visitors to the San Giorgio Maggiore Church include the masterwork paintings by Tintoretto that are found inside flanking the altar and the 60-meter-high bell tower. For a fee, it is possible to take an elevator to the top of the campanile, from which you can enjoy panoramic views of Venice that are well worth the time and money.

San Giorgio Maggiore Interior
San Giorgio Maggiore Interior

The San Giorgio Maggiore Church was designed by Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). One of Western architecture’s most influential personalities, Palladio is known for his quintessential High Renaissance style, for the imprint that he left on the general Venice area and for his architectural teachings. Among the other structures of note that he designed are the Santissimo Redentore Church on the neighboring island of Giudecca and the Palladian villas of the Veneto region. One of the best places to admire the architecture of Palladio is the Italian city of Vicenza, which is located about 45 miles west of Venice.

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