Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Peek Inside the Ex-Chiesa di Sant' Anna

The doors of the deconsecrated and abandoned Church of Sant' Anna in Castello are always chained closed, but the other day they were chained a bit less tightly than usual and someone had pushed them--or left them--open a couple of inches. Just enough space, I noticed, for a little camera.

The church and convent has an interesting history, a general overview of which can be found (along with a couple of more photos) at the fine Churches of Venice website at:


And a more focused and fascinating account (with photos) of some particularly notable nuns of this church--two of Tintoretto's daughters whose artistic talents were kept cloistered, and one spirited nun whose writings shed light on the real conditions in such convents (her published works include The Nun's Hell)--can be found at the wonderful Churches in Venice blog:


The present state of the church makes one wonder if its door will ever be opened again, or if it will ultimately be allowed to collapse unredeemed beneath the weight of its own sad history.


  1. Oh, lucky you, being there at just the right time, and being able to squeeze your camera in for a photo. (You know I'm envious, right?)

    What a shame this place is just mouldering away.

    May I please post a link to this post, on my blog?

  2. The convent, too, as I'm sure you noticed while you were here, is also in very bad shape, and unused. Seems like both places could use an idealistic, focused and capable group of squatters, as no one else is doing anything with them.

    And of course you can link to this, I'd be flattered... All of the real information can be found on the posts I link to above.

  3. Wow, it's in very bad shape, isn't it? But a fascinating and haunting view! I'm surprised the convent hasn't been rehabbed into housing like the one nearby at San Pietro di Castello. I love your squatters idea!

    Thanks so much for sharing this - Annie

    1. Your post on the history of the church and convent, Annie, is what inspired in me a whole new interest in a place that I'd gotten into the habit of walking past without thinking too much about. Now I can't pass it without thinking of those who once lived there... I was glad to be able to share a link to your piece on it and thank you for that!

  4. There is a lot of new housing to the south and west of the church that veniceconnected hasn't been around.