Destinations Magazine

Venice - San Giorgio Maggiore

By Laurawh77 @travladventurer
Santa Maria de Maggiore Below is Monet's picture of San Giorgio Maggiore at Sunset. Beautiful. I've long loved this painting and so I was very excited to be going to see the real place for myself. San Giorgio Maggiore is known as the stage set across from the mainland. It watched over the city from its picture perfect view across the water. The church and monastery was built in 1559 and is known to be among Andrea Palladio's most important achievements. The front of the building has a very classical, roman feeling but the wonderful bright red brick that contrasts the white facade provides the drama and detail that Venetian architecture is known for.  The church itself houses some wonderful art by Tinteretto.
Venice - San Giorgio Maggiore
Here is the San Giorgio Maggiore, shot from across the waters outside San Marco. We were both very excited to get the Vaporette over to San Giorgio Maggiore to see its wondrous view and architecture, but also because the root we were on to San Giorgio Maggiore was a different route, along the Guidecca canal and took us around the opposite side of Venice, letting us view a different side of things and more rural and suburban neighborhood compared to the very aristocratic neighborhood along the Grand Canal.
 On the Way to Santa Maria Maggoire
The Isola della Guidecca was the island to our right as we sailed down the Guidecca Canal onwards to San Giorgio.  This wonderful church called Church of the Redeemer was a sight to see as we passed down the Canal. It was built in 1577 and was a giant monument dedicated to all those who died in the plague which took the lives of over three quarters of the Venetian population. This church, built in the same period as San Giorgio mimics it greatly as is almost a pre-view of the great church straight ahead.
Strange ChimmneyStrange Chimmney
As we watched the houses pass by we noticed the intricate and interesting details that would pop up on different houses. This one house as a very unique chimney. That was one aspect of the simpler houses that I loved, the simplicity allowed the more artful details to shine. On a gaudy and overly decorated house this tiny detail would be lost and that would be a shame since details like this is what makes being here really worth it. Never would I have thought to search for this online, or even dream up such a design. This is one reason I love to travel, you come upon things  strange, wonderful and inspirational. On San Giorgio Maggiore
When we got to the island our Vaporette was passed by by a GIANT cruise ship. It was very strange to see such an immense ship cruising through these tiny canals. San Giorgio Maggiore
In this shot, above, you can see both the facade of the church as well as the side of the Monastery. You can also see a better shot of the front facade and the way in which Palladio married the decorative roman facades with the Christian three nave church design. Santa Maria Maggoire
On either side of the two large column framing the large entrance door we can see statues of Saint George and Saint Stephen. Both saints being the dedication saints of the church. Santa Maria Maggoire
A wonderful statue of St. Mark and Venice's Lion. I love the expression of the lion's face as he clings to St. Mark's robes. Santa Maria Maggoire
Christ the Redeemer on the top of the church.
Inside Santa Marie MaggoireInside Santa Marie Maggoire
The interior of the church combines tall, exalted ceilings, and huge windows allowing light off the water to fill the church. The windows in the church are inspired by the design of the windows in Roman Bath houses. The white plaster walls and light Istrian stone are a wonderful contrast to other darker and more decorative interiors. Santa Marie Maggoire
After walking through the church I was feeling a little over whelmed and tired and we decided to stop for a moment and take a rest. The front of the church has a huge stone campo where you can take a seat and look out over the water at Venice. It was a lovely moment to get composed and get a view of Venice that is unlike any other. Putting my feet in the water
I also took this moment to sneak down the steps down into the water and plonk my feet down in the waters of Venice. It was shockingly cold but it had a wonderful time in the sun, splashing around with my feet in the teal waters. I wanted to take a swim but knew that would be a bad idea. I very fantastical part of me wondered if I plunged into these rarely swum waters if I would turn into a Lion myself...I didn't get to see. DSC_0730
When we were ready to go, I got up and asked Sarah to take this very classic and iconic picture of Venice with me in the foreground. The joy and excitement on my face here pretty much sums up this whole day.

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