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Visit Venice

Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli


This rather small renaissance church houses a portrait of the Madonna which is believed to be miraculous. It is located in the Cannaregio neighborhood, the city's historic Jewish Ghetto, on a quaint public square alongside a canal. Pietro Lombardo designed the building which was constructed in 1481-1489 and recently underwent extensive renovated. The church façade is covered with the same polychrome marble used in St. Mark's Basilica. There are false columns (pilasters which don’t actually support anything but are built into the façade) and a semi-circular pediment featuring a circular window in the middle. Within the church white, grey and pink marble decorates all the walls and a flight of marble stairs leads up to a raised altar and two pulpits at the end of the single nave. The pulpits feature statues by Tullio Lombardo, Alessandro Vittoria and Nicolo di Pietro. Girolamo Pennacchi created the frescoes on the vaulted ceiling's fifty coffers. The church has the nickname the "marble church."

The church's painting of the Virgin Mary is thought to have been responsible for a number of miracles. In the 1470's the iconic painting is said to have brought someone back to life. Pilgrims began arriving to pay homage to the painting until it was decided to build the church to house the Madonna. The Madonna or I Miracoli (The Miraculous) is positioned above the Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli altar.

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