Santa Maria della Salute

Located at the start of the Grand Canal, the Roman Catholic church and minor basilica of Santa Maria della Salute (English: Saint Mary of Health), is a showstopper! The church was built in 1630 to celebrate the end of a deadly bubonic plague outbreak.

Its facade is adorned with the impressive statues of Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Once you get inside, you can admire a series of unique masterpieces, such as the Byzantine holy icon of Panagia Mesopantitissa, which was originally located in Candia (modern-day Heraklion in Crete) and was transferred to Venice in 1669, after the fall of Candia to the Ottoman empire.

Santa Maria della Salute also hosts a number of world art gems. Paintings were contributed to the church by renowned artists Tintoretto (“Marriage at Cana”) and Titian (“Cain and Abel”, “Abraham and Issac” and “David and Goliath”, all of which adorn the ceiling). Last but not least, Flemish sculptor Josse de Corte created the theatrical Baroque masterpiece that is the statuary group at the high altar, depicting The Queen of Heaven expelling the Plague.