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HISTORY

The 15th century church you see as you enter the campo is the third or maybe 4th church on the site.

1. The original church on this site was said to have been founded by Saint Magnus in the 7th century.

2. The 9th century building, funded by Doge Giustiniano Partecipazio and the Byzantine Emperor Leo V was dedicated to San Zaccaria, the father of St John the Baptist. His remains (housed in the church) were given as a gift by Emperor Leo. The Church and its adjoining convent of Benedictine nuns has always maintained a special relationship with the Signoria; tradition holds an early Abbess presented the Doge with the first ducal cap.

3. The original 9th century basilica was built over the old church in the 10th-12th. It’s said that the original church burnt down in the fire of 1105, and caused the death of a hundred nuns.

4. 15th century church you see now:The present church and monastery, which most of Venice’s tourists visit, was built between 1444 and 1465 by an architect named Gambello. Gamble died in 1481, and because parts of the Church of St. Zacharias in Venice had not yet been completed, the work was left to a man named Codussi. Kudos continued to build and complete the church from 1483 to 1504. However, the church and monastery were eventually completed in 1543 and completed.

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SAN TARASIU CHAPEL

. There are 8 ancient doges buried in the church, and no less than 3 doges were assassinated in the streets around the convent. On 13th September 864, after attending vespers at the church, Doge Pietro Tradinico was set upon by conspirators at the entrance to Campo San Zaccaria and left to die; one of the chapels is named for him. The chapel of San Tarasio was the chancel of the old church, reconstructed in 1440 by Gambello.

Fragments of both the 9th Century and the 12th Century church's tile floors are visible

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SAINT ATANASIO CHAPEL

The first is the Chapel of Sant'Atanasio, which was most of the nave and right-hand aisle of the old church, rebuilt for the nuns in the mid-15th century and then converted into the chapel we see around 1595, when the inlaid choir stalls for the nuns (signed and dated by Francesco and Marco Cozzi 1455-1464) were installed.

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CRYPT

The oldest area, the crypt, sits beneath this chapel and is accessible though typically covered in water.

In the crypt, unfortunately, no element of early decoration has been preserved, except for a marble altar with a sculpture of the Holy Mary on top.
We know that it used to host the tombs of eight among the Doges of the early centuries of the Venetian Republic. The three nave structure is very elegant, with cross vaults supported by short columns with simple capitals.

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FACADE

CONVENT: The facade of this early gothic church is visible to the right of the current church's facade, along with the attached Benedictine convent, which was closed down by Napoleon and is now a Carabinieri barracks. The convent was famous for the licentiousness of its pampered and high-born nuns, and was generally considered a decadent refuge for affluent daughters of the nobility.

BETTER:
The truly special monumental façade of the main church shows the transition from late gothic to renaissance, as Gambello’s lower two levels are surmounted by Codussi’s more renaissance upper three colonnades topped by a characteristic semicircular gable and supporting side quadrants with blind occuli,

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OLD CEMETERY

The 16th century colonnade to the left of the church (possibly by Codussi and now walled up) was built over the original convent cemetery

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FACADE

The façade of the old gothic church is visible to the right of the current church's façade, along with the attached Benedictine convent complex, which was closed down by Napoleon and is now a Carabinieri barracks.

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LAND OWNED BY THE NUNS

Between the Basilica of San Marco and the Monastery there was a vegetable garden ( brolo, in Venetian) owned by the nuns who sold a part to enlarge the square in front of the Basilica,

The nuns later played an important role in the construction of St. Mark’s Square. They sold their yard and garden to raise cash to build the square and help Doge Sebastiano Ziani. For these and many other reasons the monks of this church had in the construction of the city of Venice and St. Marco, the government was forced to help in the construction and reconstruction of the church of St. Zakaria in Venice.
At one time a convent of Benedictine nuns (today it is the seat of the provincial command of the police) was attached to the church, where the daughters of the richest and most important Venetian nobles became nuns, and it was one of the most important of the city. Considering the prestige of this convent the Doge visited it every year for the Easter mass which c