Designed by Antonio Lombardo at the end of 1400, the Clock Tower is divided into three orders:the first housing the clock with the zodiacal constellations that stand out on the blue dial, the second where it’s depicted the Virgin and Child, and the third with the winged lion.From the terrace on the top of the building, bronzes beat the bell at the stroke of every hour.
The Church of Madonna dell’Orto belongs to Venice sestiere of Cannaregio.
Madonna dell’Orto ‘s church takes its name from a sculpture of the Virgin Mary that was supposedly found in a garden nearby by a farmer who – legend has it – discovered it emanating a glow of its own accord during the night.
We suggest that you approach this church from Campo dei Mori in order to experience its sudden appearance from behind the buildings.
Madonna dell’Orto’s facade hosts 3 layers of sculptures:
At the highest point of the church are 4 statues representing the Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Courage, Temperamence and Justice
On the mid-level stand the 12 apostles.
And, just below the apostles, a statue of St. Christopher carrying the Baby on his shoulder, with the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel above the main entrance of the church.
Inside the church of Madonna dell’Orto, you will find a host of paintings by Giacomo Tintoretto (The Presentation of the Virgin, The Martyrdom of St Paul, The Vision of St. Peter, Moses Receiving the Tables of the Law, The Miracle of St. Agnes and of course, The last Judgement).
Click here to find the visiting hours for viewing these paintings.
It’s also worth noting, that in 1993, the small painting of Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna with Child, was stolen from the chapel.
Other curiosities about the Madonna dell’Orto:
The bell-tower at the back of the church is one of the highest in Venice and strongly resembles an islamic minaret, can you think why?
During the 13th century, the labour force in Venice came mainly from the middle-east, and they brought their culture and traditions with them, and so in turn this strongly influenced the parameters of this bell-tower construction and final design.
Also, if one has the eye for it – you may notice that one of the 12 apostles appears twice in the middle level of the church’s outer facade, why is this ?
Well, the order of friars known as the “Humiliati”, responsible for erecting the church, decided not to show Jude and instead replaced him with a second statue of Matthias.
Madonna dell’Orto is one of Venice attractions included in Adventure Theater’s itinerary, join us to discover much more about this church and other secrets hidden away in Venice!Click here for viewing the shows’ schedule