Madonna Dell Orto is a marvel of Venetian Gothic art. Located in the Cannaregio sestiere, it is one of the finest Venice churches.
History of Madonna Dell Orto
Madonna Dell Orto, built in 1350, was commissioned by the Congregation of the Humiliati. Initially, it was dedicated to St. Christopher, a patron saint of travelers crossing the lagoon. You can see his statue above the portal.
In 1414, the Council of Ten changed the church's name after discovering a Madonna statue in the garden. The Venetians believed that this statue of the Madonna with Jesus in her arms had special powers.
The church's facade, built between 1460 and 1464, is mainly made of bricks. As in many other Venetian churches, Madonna Dell Orto we can spot the regalzier, a masonry finishing technique.
The facade has a beautiful portal with a pointed arch and white stone decorations. They depict St. Christopher, the Madonna, and the Archangel Gabriel. These and a large rose window in the center are the work of Bartolomeo Bon.
Madonna Dell Orto also has a beautiful 56-meter high bell tower.
There is a lovely internal cloister, open only for special celebrations or events.
As you visit the church, notice the 19th-century organ above the entrance. It is one of the most powerful in Venice.
Artworks of Madonna Dell Orto
The church's treasures are the works of Tintoretto, a parishioner who lived a few meters away. You can find his family tomb, marked by a plaque, in the chapel to the right of the presbytery.
Tintoretto painted and donated his magnificent Universal Judgment to the church in 1562. You can also admire his Presentation of Mary at the Temple and The Cult of the Golden Calf.
Other great artists who worked on the church are Bellini, Vivarini, and Cima da Conegliano. The last one created a painting of St. John the Baptist and Saints in 1495, which you can now find in the church.
With our map's help, we suggest you reach Tintoretto's house, not too far from the church.