The church of Miracoli is a very special church, under a historical-artistic point of view, but also under a sentimental point of view for the Venetians.
Unlike all the other churches in the city, which have all been overlapped by different styles, the church of Miracoli was practically untouched: founded later than the others, it was designed, built, and decorated by one only artist and his workshop, perhaps in one only stage or, at the most, in two very close phases.
This Venetian architecture masterpiece planned by Pietro Lombardo, comparable for it's distinctiveness to an extraordinary treasure chest sculpted and redresssed of polychrome marble, is today entirely appreciated in merit of it's recent renovations (1997).
The church was built between 1481 and 1489 upon commission of Angelo Amadi, who intended to hold an image of the "Virgin Mary with Child and Two Saints" in his possession - an image which, after Pope Sextus IV's declaration of the Immaculate Conception Cult, has been declared miraculous.
The façade, with the original semicircular front adorned by rose windows, was realized on two orders of arcades carved in marble, and the cylindrical roofing, perfectly enclose the volume of the church. The arrangement in the underlining of the spaces, throughout pillar sheets of different colors and cornices, resend a Florentine Renaissance style, but the decoration of the chromatism clearly responds to a Venetian taste.
The interior, a single nave with a raised presbytery, is decorated even more sumptuously with sculpted marble. On the altar stands Zanino di Pietro's supposedly miraculous work of the "Virgin Mary and Child" (XV century).
The imposing barrel vault is decorated with wooden coffering and fifty panels depicting "Prophets and Patriarchs", painted by Pier Maria Pennachi and assistants. The pendentives of the cupola houses statues of the "Four Evangelists", probably the work of Pietro Lombardo himself - as is the splendid transenna in front of the presbytery.
Above the entrance is still preserved the old wooden choirstalls (barco) of the nuns from the nearby convent, who used to gain access to the church by means of a raised passageway that has been demolished.
MUSICAL INFORMATION (Aldo Bova "Venezia i luoghi della musica")
The organ by Pugina (1919) had one keyboard and eight stop knobs. The antique organ was located to the right of the altar in the choir which was destroyed in the nineteenth century. The doors, by Giovanni Bellini, are now preserved at the Accademia Gallery.
from Monday to Saturday, 10.30 am to 12.45pm
(last entrance at 12.35pm)