The Redentore

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Basilica del Redentore, known to everyone as The Redentore, stands on Giudecca island. It is easy to find on the Venice map. Looking out on the beautiful Canale della Giudecca, this Venice church is full of history and art.  

History

The Senate of the Venetian Republic decided to build The Redentore as a votive offering to end the plague. The plague of 1575-1577 was one of the most devastating in Venice, killing a third of the population. 

Andrea Palladio was the chosen architect who designed and built the church. He died of the plague before completing it, so Antonio da Ponte finished it according to the original design.  

The church was intended for the Capuchin friars. They followed the Franciscan models to avoid using precious materials. The statues dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Mark, located at the entrance, prove this historical fact. 

Architecture 

The Basilica del Redentore is a true Renaissance masterpiece in Venice. Its white marble facade, inspired by the Pantheon of Rome, showcases Palladian maturity. 

Here one can notice some influence of ancient classical art. See the two prominent cylindrical bell towers which enhance the Redentore dome. The dome also features a statue of the Redeemer (an English name of the church).  

The plan of the church is rectangular but done in a manner resembling a Latin cross. Basilica del Redentore has a single nave with three chapels on each side. A lot of light enters from the large windows, giving life to the church's interior. In the end, one will find a presbytery and a high altar with columns to highlight it. 

Artworks

In this church, art enthusiasts can indulge. There are works of prominent painters like Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, and Alvise Vivarini. 

One such magnificent work on display is Tintoretto's Flagellation of Christ from 1588. Or take a look at another masterpiece - Paolo Veronese's Baptism of Christ from 1560. There are quite a few notable art pieces, so please take your time to explore them. 

The Festa del Redentore

Every year on the third Sunday of July, Venice celebrates the famous Festa del Redentore. This festival is the oldest and one of the most loved in Venice. Its primary purpose is thanksgiving for the city's eventual victory over the plague. 

Basilica del Redentore played an essential part in Venice's history and is now a part of the festival. The pontoon bridge connects the Zattere with the Redentore, where a special service is held on festival days.