The Basilica Santa Maria della Salute is undergoing a change.
This exquisite chiesa (church) was built after the plague of 1630 which killed nearly a third of the population in the lagoon. The Doge Nicolò Contarini and the Venetian Senate decreed that a new church would be built and that in the future each Doge would visit on November 21 for the Festa della Madonna della Salute in gratitude for deliverance from the plague. Even today the 21st of November is observed by religious and city officials. A pontoon bridge is built from near Harry’s Bar across the Grand Canal for citizens to walk across and to give thanks for the deliverance of the plague.
The construction of this church in Venice began in 1631 and was finally completed in 1681. It was designed by Baldassare Longhena a 26 year old. The dome is well known in the Venetian skyline and it has a prime location along the Grand Canal just across from the Piazza San Marco and has been the subject of so many great painters like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, Francesco Guardi and countless photos, I know I have made several hundred. It is enchanting in every light.
The artwork and sculptures of the church were only available to on certain religious holidays, but now the church has decided to make the artwork easy to see with such great names as: Titian and Tintoretto
With this unexpected announcement, the church has announced that during the current restoration work on the dome, they will add the funds to make a permanent stairway and viewing platform.
Now don’t make your vacation plans on this….I think it will take a couple of years. But the view back across the Grand Canal of Piazza San Marco will be absolutely beautiful. I will be heading there every day just to shoot photos.