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SS. Giovanni e Paolo

San Giovanni e Paolo


The Church of Saint John and Paul, also known as San Zanipolo, is one of the largest churches in Venice and the Dominican church of the city. Doge Jacopo Tiepolo had a vision directing him to have the church constructed on this spot for the Dominican friars. The church structure we see today was built in 1430. The building is in the Italian Gothic-style with a brick structure and was designed to accommodate a large congregation. The vast Latin-cross interior has a 5 polygonal apses and single side-aisles with ten thick columns supporting pointed arcades and a cross vaulted ceiling which bears exquisite molding.

The beautiful church was the burial site of 25 Venetian doges since the 15th century and their vaults are artistically decorated in intricately carved sculptures. Doge Tommaso Mocenigo's vault was signed by Giovanni di Martino da Fiesole and Pietro di Maestro Nicolo Lamberti. The church houses the Madonna della Pace statue; an altar piece by Lorenzo Lotto and another polyptych (panel of paintings) by Bellini as well as Alvise Vivarini's Christ Carrying the Cross. Other famous art works within the church include Veronese's Adoration of the Pastors; Francesco Bernardino's ceiling decoration and a ceiling painting, Glory of St. Dominic by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Also worth seeing is the beautifully restored Rosary Chapel. The church portal was a later addition and created by Bartolomeo Bon in the 1400s. There is a colorful window made in Murano in the 15th century.

The church is on the Campo Giovanni e Paolo where you can see the equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni created by Andrea Verrocchio in the 15th century.

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