Campo San Francesco della Vigna



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San Francesco de la Vigna Campanile Cavalcavia gasometer Scuola di San Pasquale Baylon Palazzo Contarini della Porta di Ferro Palazzo Gritti San Francesco della Vigna Franciscan monastery
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In fact, this urban situation originates from the 16th and 17th century and consists of three different places connected to each other: Campo San Francesco della Vigna (northwest) in front of Palladio's classic church façade, the Campo della Confraternità bodering the church on the south and the small Campiello de la Chiesa on the Rio de S. Francesco. The view around 1500 still shows the old church and minor housing instead of the Campo della Confraternità.
The name "della Vigna" is derived from a wineyard documented in several 13th century documents concerning the noble Ziani family, who lived in a palatium in the near parish of Santa Giustina. Still today, despite later urbanisation, the area is characterised by green space. The huge, yet uninspiring renaissance palace of Doge Andrea Gritti (who initiated the so-called renovatio urbis, i.e. the introduction of roman renaissance forms in the Venetian state architecture) has its façade on the Campo San Francesco della Vigna, but extends to the Rio de San Francesco. A 19th century gangway on columns, the so-called cavalcavia connects the palace with another building and separates the Campiello de la Chiesa from the Campo della Confraternità.
The denomination of the latter is derived from the Scuola di San Pasquale Baylon, a building for a confraternity founded in 1625 or 1627. In 1673, the confraternity requested the permission to build a Scuola vicino alla chiesa di S. Francesco dalla parte del Cimitero col prospetto riguardante l'habitatione di Monsignor Reverendissimo Nontio Apostolico [i.e. Palazzo Gritti, which later served the Roman nuntius]. This clearly shows that the graveyard belonging to the church still was in use in the 17th century. The Scuola was finally built in 1674 and 1675 by Gerolamo Viviani, a follower of Baldassare Longhena. Its interior decoration is lost, the building is today used by the Cavalieri di San Marco.
During the 19th century, the northern periphery of Venice was subject to massive industrialisation, as the large gasometer visible from the Campo San Francesco della Vigna demonstrates.


Attardi, Luisa: La Scuola di San Pasquale Baylon a Venezia, in: Arte veneta 42.1988, pp. 157-162


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