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San Giovanni Battista – one of the oldest churches in Venice and a Renaissance gem

Madonna and Child San Giovanni Battista in Bragora San Giovanni Battista in Bragora Painting San Giovanni Battista in Bragora

Remodelled and restored several times over the centuries, the church was given its current late Gothic appearance in the last quarter of the 15th century. Inside you will find masterpieces by Renaissance artists – simply breathtaking.

A gem with works by famous Renaissance artists

Find works by Enrico Merengo, Giovanni Battista Cima, Alvise Vivarini and others in this small church

The church on this site was first mentioned in a document from 1090, a deed of donation in which the priest Andrea Martinaci, parish priest of San Giovanni Battista in Bragora, appears as a notary. A later reconstruction of the building took place in 1178, as we know from other documents.

The history of the church building

The interior of the church has undergone profound changes over the centuries. The renovations that took place at various times between the end of the 16th century and the 18th century radically altered the liturgical space, with the presbytery area being particularly affected. The choir and the altars that leaned against it were demolished, the high altar (which was rebuilt in the late 17th century) was moved to an isolated position, the floor was levelled and a series of large screens were installed on the walls.

Masterpieces of the Renaissance

Despite the changes, the presbytery, which is dominated by the Baptism of Christ by Giambattista Cima, one of the oldest altarpieces preserved in situ on the high altar of a Venetian church, is undoubtedly still the architectural centrepiece of the church. For this privileged space reserved for the clergy, a complex decoration was created in the years 1486-1503, which includes the choir, the altarpiece for the high altar with its cornice and two small side altars with their paintings.



  • Marvel at works by Enrico Merengo (Heinrich Meiering), Giambattista Cima (Cima da Conegliano), Alvise Vivarini and Leonardo Boldrini 
  • Visit one of the oldest churches in Venice 


Opening hours

Monday – Saturday | 10.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(ticket offices, bookshop and last admission ten minutes before closing time) 



You can obtain the Chorus Pass at the ticket office of the Chiesa di Santo Stefano, the Chiesa di San Giacomo dall’Orio or the Chiesa di San Sebastiano on presentation of the Venice City Pass. The Chorus Pass is valid for the churches listed on the ticket. Keep the Chorus Pass to visit the other churches. 


Important information

  • Please dress appropriately for your visit to the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista in Bragora and cover your shoulders and knees. Sleeveless outerwear, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not permitted.



How to get there

The nearest ferry stops are 

San Marco / San Zaccharia A, lines: 14, 15, CA
San Marco / San Zaccharia B, lines: 2, 20 



Campiello del Piovan, 3790, 30122 Venezia VE

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The Chorus Pass for the churches of Venice is included in your >> Venice City Pass.

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