A first church was built on this place in 1221, but was destroyed by a fire in 1453.
The current church dates back to the second half of the 15th century. More precisely, the church was built between 1468 and 1479 by the great architect Mauro Codussi, the same architect of the Church of San Zaccaria, the Vendramin Calergi Palace and the Clock Tower from the San Marco Square.
In 1530, the architect Guglielmo Bergamasco built a hexagonal chapel to the left of the church, known as Cappella Emiliani. In 1560, the famous sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino renovated the church and the chapel.
The church has a tripartite facade divided by Ionic pilasters, with two superimposed levels. The lower one is characterized by a smooth ashlar, with a central portal with a triangular tympanum and two high arched windows in correspondence of the aisles.
The upper level, included between the Ionic pilasters, has a large oculus, around which are arranged four polychrome marble disks. This second level is surmounted by the curved pediment, while the sides are connected by two other curved wings, with fine shell-shaped ornaments.
The interior of the church is divided into three naves by round arches supported by columns. Each nave is covered with coffered ceilings and ends in a semicircular apse.
HOW TO GET THERE
The only vaporetto stop on the island of San Michele is Cimitero. The island can be reached with one of the waterbus Lines 4.1 and 4.2.
Once you get on the island, the Church of San Michele is near. Also, you can visit the Cemetery of San Michele, where the American poet Ezra Pound and the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky are buried.
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