Monday, October 5, 2015

Greg's 'Church'

Greg along the canal by Campo San Giovanni e Paolo
While we were in Venice, we went with Greg on a little pilgrimage to Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, one of the largest squares in Venice. Greg has a beautiful old oil painting of the canal and one of the buildings that line the square. It was probably painted from the little bridge you see in the photo.

This is the view from the bridge. The large white building which we called Greg's church really isn't a church at all...never was. It was originally built in 1260 as the seat of the Confraternity of San Marco. Confraternities were religious brotherhoods, each with its own patron saint, that became legal entities.They worshiped together, held their own commemorative Masses, assisted their members with legal matters, cared for sick members and  buried them. This Confraternity was a Scuole Grandi, meaning it became of the largest organizations. It had high political connections and was under the control of the Council of Ten, the Doge's henchmen. In the 1800s the building became an Austrian hospital. It remains a civil hospital today.

There is a church on the square which adjoins the white building on its right. It's the Basilica of St. John and St. Paul. Twenty-five Doges are buried there.
Here's a photo of Greg's painting. I like the canal less cluttered with boats, don't you?

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