Chiesa San Simeon Piccolo, Venice

4.1
San Simeone Piccolo is a church in the sestiere of Santa Croce in Venice, northern Italy. From across the Grand Canal it faces the railroad terminal serving as entrypoint for most visitors to the city.
Built in 1718-38 by Giovanni Antonio Scalfarotto, the church shows the emerging eclecticism of Neoclassical architecture. It accumulates academic architectural quotations, much like the contemporaneous Karlskirche in Vienna. Wittkower, in his monograph, acknowledges San Simeone is modeled on the Pantheon with a temple-front pronaos, on the other hand, the peaked dome recalls Longhena's more embellished and prominent Santa Maria della Salute church. The centralized circular church design and the metal dome recalls Byzantine models and San Marco, though the numerous centrifugal chapels are characteristic of Post-Tridentine churches.
This was one of the last churches built in Venice, in one of its poorer sestieri.
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Chiesa San Simeon Piccolo Reviews
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  • An imposing church outwardly from the 18th century. Its entrance is well above the level of the canal with a portico inspired by the Parthenon of Rome.The dome is also imposing topped by a statue of the Redeemer. Masses are in Latin Gregorian songs. In principle every Sunday morning but inquire . The interior without sumptuous decorations would need a restoration. Admission free, admission is Entry. Its architectural interest lies in its underground crypt, the only one that can be visited after Mass. We were alone late sunday morning. Against 3rd you are given a small candle that illuminates absolutely nothing and you are set for a descent to hell in absolute darkness. No lighting except an unfortunate light bulb in the end of a tunnel. One lamp per person is essential, it is a small maze of corridors and niches and we walk all the time on tombs with rickety slabs which adds to the atmosphere but is broken figure. It is still large but needs to expand much more, tunnels are walled. In the center there is a tomb from where the star galleries leave. All the walls are covered with complicated frescoes, colored with a rather macabre in a niche, in perfect condition, no light or humidity. The visit is quite impresionante but of great interest even if we find the light with relief.
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  • The church that appears across the street as soon as you leave the Venice train station. Since we were going to walk to St. Mark's Square, we watched it, because it was rainy in the air, so we never went that way again, we just watched it from across the street.
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  • There is an amazing crypt under the church. You pay a small amount (about €2) to get a candle and you can go around this beautiful crypt full of frescoes.
  • It is a beautiful looking church, however the opening times are super confusing. I believe it's only open on Saturday and Sunday and only for a few hours? We really wanted to visit the crypt underneath but unfortunately there is no real way of knowing what time the doors will open.
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