The church built to celebrate the end of the plague
The Basilica della Madonna della Salute stands on the Grand Canal near the San Marco basin, with an imposing staircase that seems to almost emerge from the water and extend as far asl the entrance to the Sanctuary. The Basilica was built by architect Baldassare Longhena to celebrate the end of the plague, which decimated the population of a large territory. Works began on the Basilica in 1631 and were completed in 1687, 5 years after the death of its designer.
Externally, the Basilica is covered with Istrian stone, crowned by 2 domes and flanked by two bell towers. The interior consists of the ample space of the central dome under which the six side chapels open up, and by the so-called rotonda minore that serves as a real sanctuary with the image of Our Lady of Health, Mesopanditissa.
The Basilica also contains numerous masterpieces such as the Pentecost, Saint Mark Enthroned with Saints Sebastian, Roch, Cosmas and Damian, the Sacrifice of Isaac, David and Goliath by Titian, and The Wedding at Cana by Tintoretto.
Every year, on November 21, on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Health, one of the most heartfelt traditions of the city, the Basilica becomes a place of pilgrimage: between the two banks of the Grand Canal a bridge of boats is built to allow Venetians to reach the Basilica and light a candle in the Church.