Church of Santa Maria e San Donato, Murano

#2 of 53 in Things to do in Murano
Must see · Church · Tourist Spot
The Church of Santa Maria e San Donato is a religious edifice located in Murano, northern Italy. It is known for its twelfth century Byzantine mosaic pavement and is said to contain the relics of Saint Donatus of Arezzo as well as large bones behind the altar said to be the bones of a dragon slain by the saint.
The church is one of the oldest in the Venetian lagoon. It was originally built in the 7th century and is known to have been rebuilt in the 9th century and in 1040 AD, although it is possible that there have been more rebuildings in later times.
Development of the interiors of the church and valuable relics are related to the legendary quarreling between the parishes of this church and neighboring church of St. Stefano which lasted up to 1125, when Doge Domenico Michele established the dominance of Santa Maria church by storing the relics of St. Donatus of Arezzo in it.
The church and its bell tower are built of dark red-brown brick, without plastering. The bell tower stands separately. The main entrance to the church faces west, but the most impressive facade is the colonnaded east side, which faces a canal.
The colourful stone mosaic floor of the church, including the yoked "cocks on the floor of San Donato, in Murano, who are carrying a fox" dates from around 1140, and bears superficial repairs. The relics of San Donato are located in a marble sarcophagus.
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  • The Duomo of Murano is a beautiful church with a floor made of various mosaics, beautiful stained glass windows and works made with glass from the town.  more »
  • Really enjoyed my visit here and thought the mosaics excellent. Did take some photos although I was challenged by the caretaker (who did back down when I argued about what this policy has to do with....  more »
  • Peaceful and quiet. Walked from Colonna along the sides of the Canal until we stumbled across this church without planning to. Had no issues taking a photograph of the interiors.
  • Beautiful Church. I went there to pray and take photos. As a veteran Catholic blogger and writer, I was going to share some pictures of this beautiful Basilica to bring in more visitors. And I was promptly asked to leave for taking pictures. God's house is open to all. Yet, they don't want people to admire this place. Photographs are ways to bring people in. And they are stuck in a Luddite, stone age. They and other Venice churches that want to prevent photographs should be shuttered.

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