Madonna di Ca' Pesaro

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Chiesa dei Frari – Venice

Venice - Chiesa dei Frari - Exterior
Venice - Chiesa dei Frari - Trittico dei FrariVenice - Chiesa dei Frari - InteriorVenice - Chiesa dei Frari - Altar

The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, known simply as Chiesa dei Frari, is one of the most important churches of Venice. It is located in the central San Polo district and it is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.

When the Franciscan friars arrived in Venice at the beginning of the 13th century they occupied an abandoned Benedictine Abbey. After a decade Doge Jacopo Tiepolo donated them the land and they started to build a church. Half century later the church was completely remodeled and almost doubled in size. The construction was extremely slow and it took more than a century to be completed. The church’s campanile is the second tallest in Venice after the St. Mark’s one.

The exterior of the Chiesa dei Friari is made of bricks, its simplicity wants to remind to the visitors the austerity of the Franciscan’s Order. The church is one of the most beautiful example of Italian Gothic Style.

Things to see

The interior of the church offers to the visitors many stunning pieces of art. A perfect example is the Madonna di Ca’ Pesaro a splendid painting by the Renaissance genius Titian. The master paint also the Assumption of Mary for the main altar. However this painting was initially criticized because too innovative; only later its beauty was finally understood and its pioneering style made Titian famous. The artist was buried in the church.

In the church it is also possible to admire the stunning Madonna with Child and Saints by Giovanni Bellini and the first Donatello’s Venetian work John the Baptist.