Founded in the 9th century, San Giacomo dall'Orio is one of the oldest churches in Venice. The great charm of this church lies in a sombre and archaic exterior enclosing an ingeniously articulated interior, which is dominated by the warm presence of wooden beams and ceiling.
Its present form - a Latin cross with a central nave, two aisles, and a transept - is the result of a rebuilding project initiated in 1225 and of subsequent modifications carried out in the XV and XVI century.
The re-building of the church in 1225 consisted in a Byzantine structure with material brought back from the Levant after the IV Crusade - such as the fine green marble column with Ionic capital praised by John Ruskin and Gabriele d'Annunzio; vice versa apsis directed towards the campo that date back to the XV century.
The monument, today fully appreciated in merit of the recent restoration that gave back the beauty of the "keel" roof from the beginning of the XV century, also conserves a number of Venetian masterpiece paintings such as Lorenzo Lotto's main altarpiece "Virgin Mary and Child with Apostles and Saints" (1546), which is one of the few works by the artist that can still be found in Venice. In the old sacristy there are some of Jacopo Palma il Giovane's best work, including the very Titianesque Altarpiece with "Father da Ponte" (1580-81); while the new sacristy contains a panelled ceiling decorated with works by Paolo Veronese and some of Francesco Bassano's best pieces.
MUSICAL INFORMATION (Aldo Bova "Venezia i luoghi della musica")
The first news of an organ dates back to 1498. The Callido organ (1776) has one keyboard and 20 stop knobs, placed in a sixteenth-century choir decorated by Andrea Schiavone. In the left apse chapel there are the four of the ancient organ's doors (Venetian school of the XVI century).
Monday to Saturday: 10.30am - 1.30pm and 2.30pm - 5pm (last entrance ten minutes before closing)