Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Venice (Italy) - Dorsoduro - Punta della Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute

Our grand entry in to Venice continued past the section named "Dorsoduro".  We are traveling on the Giudecca Canal.  The canal that we see on the right side of the photo is one end of the long winding Grand Canal. The section of Venice to the right is San Marco, and on the left is Dorsoduro.

Dorsoduro includes the highest land areas of the city and also Giudecca island and Isola Sacca Fisola. Its name derives from the Italian for "hard ridge", due to its comparatively high, stable land. (wikipedia)
We are going to look at Dorsoduro in this post as I have more photos of Giudecca in a later post.

"The end of the waterfront is entirely occupied by the buildings of the Dogana da mar (16), set up here when the Venetian Republic decided to divide its customs offices into two sections: the Dogana da tera, at the Rialto, dealt with goods arriving from the mainland, whilst the Dogana da mar dealt with those arriving by sea. The present appearance of the Dogana Point is the result of work started in 1677 as part of a project from the redevelopment of the whole island. On the whole, the visual effect is rather pleasing, even if part of the external facades of the warehouses are the result of 19th-century work. The porticoed tower is very original. It is surmounted by an allegorical statue by Bernardo Falcone: the golden globe represents the earth, borne up by two atlantes and surmounted in is turn by the allegorical statue of Fortune, which turns in the wind." (Source: 

Visitors are standing on the point looking at us and we are looking at them.  The building is the newly renovated art museum "Punta della Dogana".  This is the new home of the Francois Pinault Collection.  On the top of the entrance, way up on top, is a golden ball and a weather vane, representing Fortune.  Standing in front, at the tip of the sidewalk, is an eight foot tall statue titled "Boy with Frog".  This has become a signpost for the Venice's newest contemporary art space.  By the way, the artist is Charles Ray, born in Chicago. This is his first outdoor installation.  You can just see the statue in my photo as an all white image.

The architect of the museum was Tadao Ando. His original sketches clearly showed that he wanted to maintain the look of the warehouses in the area and he was able to keep the triangular shape of the point of the island.  Click here to see more info on the museum.  For logistics, the gondolas and boats are parked at the Vaporetto Salute. This is your Venetian bus stop for these sites.  More Photos: Click here to see Google photos of the museum interior and some of the art inside.

I wanted to show you the other side of the Grand Canal before we more on. The cruise ship doesn't go down the Grand Canal (we are too GRAND, hee hee), so a little glimpse for temptations sake.  Buildings are right up to the canal, some have a patio restaurant.  The gondolas. The boats.  Hey, are there any implied traffic lanes here?

If we look a little closer to the section on the cute are those black and white striped posts?

For now, let's return to the Dorsoduro tour.

More Photos: Click here to see the Google search of images for this statue. You can see closeups of the statue and the front view.  The photo below is from a Google search and gives you an idea of the size and skill of the sculpture. I've had discussions with people about "who is producing the fine sculpture of our day", and the answer to that question is "Charles Ray".

 Behind the museum stands the graceful Santa Maria della Salute.  St. Mary of Health.  (you might have heard the word "Salute" when someone says "Cheers" and takes a drink.) This is one of the largest churches in Venice and was built as a memorial to Mary because the city was saved from a plaque.  I couldn't think of a better reason to build such a beautiful building.  The building is built with Marian Symbolism abounding, with the great dome representing her crown.  There is more descriptive text found, but it started to describe representative body parts and this is a G rated blog. hee hee.

 The lantern on top of the dome supports a statue of the Virgin blessing the city. Behind there's the smaller dome over the sanctuary and two delicate campanili.
 The architect was Baldassare Longhena, built in the Baroque style.  This photo shows several of the sixteen volutes abutting the octagon tambour and each supporting a statue.  Okay, I have to admit that I needed to look up "volutes".  Wikipedia says that it is a spiral like ornament that forms the basis of the ionic order. You will see this on the column tops that have fancy scrolls on the end. And on fancy furniture chair arms.  Now you can say "Oh, what an interesting volute on that chair."

Campanile 48m (156ft) electromechanical bells.  Two towers, but only one has bells.  I don't know the story behind that and will leave this type of super detective scoop work to my sister.

 Full credit for the description and details of Santa Maria Della Salute goes to the website "The Churches of Venice."  This website has a lot of photographs and details, history, and more. I took the photos, but the descriptions and details were found here:

So, now that we have examined all of the details, take a look at the full building again. This is from the back side, but still shows a lot of the good and interesting elements.  I had worked to keep the crane out of the photo, but it's here and working.


MORE PHOTOS: Click here to see Google photos of the front of the church from the Grand Canal.

No comments: