San Nicolò dei Mendicoli


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San Nicolò is one of the few Venetian churches to have maintained its 13th-century Veneto-Byzantine structure, despite numerous refurbishments over the years. When the church underwent a thorough restoration in the 1970s, traces of the original foundations were uncovered, confirming the church's seventh-century origins. The 15th-century loggia at the front is one of only two extant examples of a once-common architectural feature; it originally served as a shelter for the homeless.

The interior contains a marvellous mishmash of architectural and decorative styles that creates an effect of cluttered charm. The structure is that of a 12th-century basilica, with two colonnades of stocky columns topped by 14th-century capitals. Above are gilded 16th-century statues of the Apostles. The paintings are mainly 17th century.

There are also some fine wooden sculptures, including a large statue of San Nicolò made in the 15th century in the workshop of sculptor Bartolomeo Bon. In the small campo outside the church is a column with a diminutive winged lion.

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San Nicolò dei Mendicoli details

campo San Nicolò

Area Venice

Transport Vaporetto San Basilio or Santa Marta

Telephone 041 275 0382

Open 10am-noon, 3-5.30pm Mon-Sat; 10am-noon Sun.

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