Baroque is the best word to describe Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. It presides over the entrance to the Grand Canal. If you can find a discount hotel in Venice near the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, do not pass it up. The Basilica is worth a lengthy exploration. It is a monumental building in more ways than one. It boasts over 1 million timber piles as supports. At its core is an octagonal shape. The rest is covered with domes, scrolls, statues and even scalloped buttresses. To reach it, you must climb up a humbling set of steps.
The Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute arose out of an act of celebration. It was said to mark the end of the 1630 plague. 47,000 died between 1630 and 1631. The young architect, 32-year-old Baldassare Longhena began the project in 1630. It was completed in 1687. Baldassare had been dead for 5 years. The somber interior features a grandiose high altar featuring a sculptured group by Giusto Le Corte. The Sacristy hosts an early altarpiece by Titian, St. Mark Enthroned with S. S. Cosmos, Damian, Roch and Sebastian (1511-1512). There is also a Tintoretto - The Wedding at Cana (1551), on the wall opposite the entry way. Walk across the polychrome marble floor to view Titian’s Pentecost or the Madonna della Salute. This is a Byzantine icon from Crete. Book your hotel near the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, for the chance of a lifetime.
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