Chiesa di San Martino – Burano's Only Church

Burano Church

Burano now has only one religious structure, St. Martin's. There was no such situation in the past, as each island district had its own church and monastery. The reddish-gray church appears unassuming from the outside, surrounded by vividly colored buildings. The only distinguishing and remarkable feature is its leaning campanile, which you can see from almost every spot on the island.


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Saint Martin of Tours, bishop of France, was born in Hungary in the fourth century. His cult spread throughout Italy during the Middle Ages thanks to the Franks. There are now numerous churches dedicated to San Martino around the country. A historical one has also stood on the Venetian island of Burano since the 16th century.


I know you don't go to Burano specifically to see the church, but if you happen to be strolling around its tiny center, I recommend you stop by. I went inside the church for a closer look. It's well worth seeing. The interior highlights include Giambattista Tiepolo's La Crocifissione from 1725, and Madonna di Kazan, a 19th-century Russian icon. The adjacent St. Barbara's Chapel accessed from the square houses the saint's relics.


St. Martin's campanile
The church's leaning campanile

Chiesa di San Martino
The church's interior

Chiesa di San Martino
High altar

The Church's Brief History


The 11th century saw the construction of the Church of St. Martin. Rebuilt numerous times, it took on its current look between the end of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century. A fire in 1913 destroyed the central nave ceiling and the previous organ; the Mascioni company's current musical instrument contains over 2,000 pipes.


Its campanile, designed by Andrea Tirali, an Italian architect, dates from the beginning of the 18th century. It stands 53 meters (174 feet) tall and is inclined on the axis by 1.83 meters (6 feet) due to ground subsidence. Once an angel dominated the top, it fell after a storm in 1867, and an iron cross now replaces that.


Architecture


The church building has a gabled exterior with two side wings and a higher central section but no marble façade. An atrium leads to the main entrance. On the square-facing side, there is a Renaissance portal.


Architected in Lombard-Baroque style with a Latin cross plan, the interior has three naves, ending in a chapel divided by Neoclassical pillars. The ceilings of the naves are cross vaults, as opposed to the chancel and side chapels. Six elegant columns of red marble from France and four ancient oriental marble adorn the high altar.


How to Get There


The Church of St. Martin stands on the largest islet of the island, in the Piazza Baldassarre Galuppi square, southeast of Burano.

Address: Address: P.za Baldassarre Galuppi, 20, 30142 Venezia VE, Italy


Where to Stay in Venice


Booking.com offers a wide range of lodging options, various discounts, and exceptional customer service. For a list of places to stay in Venice, click here.


Booking.com


The Secret Corners of Burano


If you want to see the island's colorful homes, visit its iconic landmarks like St. Martin's Church, learn how to make famous Burano lace knitting, and get tips on the best places to dine and shop around, book the Secret Corners of Burano tour.


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Have you ever visited the Church of St. Martin in Burano? Were you impressed by its interior? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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