Although the first document mentioning the church dates back to 1090, it seems that the structure was built earlier, in 829.
The church was rebuilt in the 10th century, under Doge Pietro III Candiano, to house some presumed relics of St. John the Baptist, to which is dedicated, and again in 1178.
In 1464, when Pietro Barbo became Pope Paul II, the church was restructured according to a late Gothic style by the architect Sebastiano Mariani, taking its current form.
The works lasted thirty years, from 1475 to 1505, at the end of which it was reconsecrated, as it is shown on the facade, on the lintel above the entrance, under the lunette.
In 1481, the chapel dedicated to Saint John the Merciful was built, which houses the precious relics of the saint since 1249.
Over time, the bell tower of the church collapsed several times. The first structure, from the 9th century, underwent a major renovation between 1475 and 1498, only to be demolished in 1567 due to its precarious condition. Rebuilt in 1568, it was struck by lightning in 1708 and subsequently demolished in 1826. It was replaced later by the current one.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The brick facade of the church is simple, divided in three parts corresponding to the naves.
The main altar, work of Girolamo Livioni, dates back to 1685 and houses two large statues of Saint John the Merciful and of Saint John the Baptist, by Heinrich Meyring.
To the right of the presbytery, stands a small chapel, once owned by the Giustinian family, and then by the Morosini family. Next to the chapel, is the sacristy, which houses works by Alvise Vivarini and by Giambattista Cima da Conegliano.
In the church, we can also find works by Jacopo Palma il Giovane and Bartolomeo Vivarini.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest waterbus stop, located about 250 meters away, is San Zaccaria (Pieta’), on the waterbus Lines 14 and 15. Another close stop is Arsenale, located about 350 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1, 4.1 and 4.2.