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Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli (34)

The most famous churches are not always the biggest ones. A practical demonstration could be Santa Maria dei Miracoli, hidden away like a small jewel in the network of narrow streets of the Cannaregio. 

Despite its simplicity, since it is basically a single nave covered by a barrel vault, it is extremely popular, above all among the most devout and among couples who are looking for a special place to get married in. 

Santa Maria dei Miracoli was conceived as a votive chapel to house the image of The Virgin and Child, work of Nicolò di Pietro, which was attributed powers to work miracles. The image is still kept in the temple altar. An authentic monument to Venetian Quattrocento, it was designed by Pietro Lombardo and built between 1481 and 1489 in a delicate Renaissance style. 

Due to its shape, crowned by a semicircle, many people have compared it to a piece of jewel case. Its delightful façade, carefully decorated with panels of porphyry and polychromed marbles, constitutes one of its main aesthetic assets. 

In the interior, dominated by white, pink and grey marbles, there are some figures sculpted by Tullio Lombardo, as well as numerous bas-relief works. As regards the vaulting, it is decorated with 50 portraits of prophets, saints and patriarchs. 

Between 1988 and 1998, the church underwent a profound reform financed by the Save Venice organisation, which has safeguarded the integrity of the city’s heritage since the serious floods of 1966. Today Santa Maria dei Miracoli once again sparkles proudly.

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