The Church - Vignole Island

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The Church


The Church  of Santa Maria Assunta
and  Santa Eurosia  in  Vignole

Paoletti in its “Fiore di Venezia” (1840) writes:

“…the so-called Lido delle Vignole, once known as “Bignola”, or of the “Seven vines”; on it, it is said, the two tribunes from Torcello Ario and Aratore built in the Seventh Century a little church in honour of Saint John the Baptist and of the martyr Saint Justine. Now, no more than a small chapel in name of Santa Rosa can be seen.”

We do not know where the original “little church” was located; but, in a Sixteenth Century map by Cristoforo Sabadino, a small church similar to that of Sant’Erasmo and of the New Lazzaretto is drawn. It is on the left side of the internal canal of the Island and might correspond to the one still existing, dedicated to Santa Eurosia.
Such an interpretation has been endorsed by the Superintendence to the Monuments in 1965, when it placed restrictions for its conservation. In this act it cites the church with these words:

“Typical traditional little church of the late Sixteenth Century, characterized by a main façade with tympanum and central entry with a main beam, bordered by rectangular openings with gratings; adhering, a lovely little bell tower with a cusp, whose bell cell presents round-arched windows”.

As a consequence, the building is subject to the laws on the safeguard of assets of historical and artistic interest (Law n. 1089/1939).
The church and oratory of the Vignole, which we now delights us in all of its functionality, is one of the few of its type still preserved of the many that were present in the islands of the Lagoon. In the centuries it has been under restoration and fixed over and over, yet maintaining its former architectural simplicity: double-pitched roofing with beams in truss, major façade with tympanum, floor in cotto tiles.
The major altar is composed of a marble structure from the Seventeenth Century in grey stone, with a double couple of pillars and flower motifs which frame an altar piece portraying the Assumption of Mary of Venetian art school of the late-Seventeenth Century, with in the centre a marble tabernacle.
What is of remarkable interest is the painting of the Eighteenth Century, representing The martyrdom of Santa Eurosia, as well as two marble busts of the same period depicting the Virgin and Christ over the entrance door, outside and inside the church.
In the early 19-Thirties, after the property was transferred from private to that of the Venetian Curia, the chancel was lengthwise extended, moving the marble altar on the new wall.
After various restorations in the last years, because of the humid and brackish climate, a gradual decline started, opposed only by the locals’ will to keep their church functioning. In 1984 the Superintendence of the Artistic and Historic Assets of Venice intervened on the altar piece of the Assumption and on the Martyrdom of Santa Eurosia.
Starting from June 1998, the Veneto Region and the Patriarchate took charge of the complete renovations, and thanks to these interventions the building has recovered its original configuration, also in the inside.
As already mentioned, the church was part of a private property, connected to the building on the back. It was once – almost for sure – a convent, then converted into a rural house.
The owners, after making it available for decades for the residents of the island, preferred transferring it to the Venetian Curia. Locals living in the Vignole island feel it like the strongest bond with their land.
The church is still functioning and is open on Sundays (Mass is at 9:20).
In the years, especially on the internal plaster, humidity has provoked new damage.
The marbles of the Seventeenth Century altar were cleaned and restored during the period from November 2006 to March 2007, when the Tabernacle was reinstated by the company Co.New.Tech of F. Benvenuti from Venice.
In the spring of 2009, the metal frame of the biggest of the three bells had a serious problem. So, the firm Giacometti from Legnaro (Padova) restored all of the bell frames.


Text freely taken from:

     Soroptimist  Internazional Club di Venezia
     Laguna di Venezia. L'isola delle Vignole
,  Consorzio Venezia Nuova.

Translated by Caberlotto Marco.

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