The Festa del Redentore celebrates life

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The Festa del Redentore celebrates life

For 539 years, the Festa del Redentore has celebrated victory over the plague (1575-1576) that decimated 60,000 people in the lagoon of Venice.

On September 4th, 1576, the Venetian Senate decided to construct a church dedicated to Christ the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca. It was the ultimate gesture to stop the plague that ravaged the populations of the lagoon following an extraordinary rise in water levels… The offer of a church was a promise made to God by the Doge Alvise Mocenigo on the third Sunday of July.

On July 21st, 1577, the first Festa del Redentore took place without Alvise Mocenigo, who had died a month earlier. The people of Venice crossed the Giudecca Canal on a bridge of boats to attend a service on the location of what would be the new church. Since then, the Venetian celebration attracts 1,500 boats, which still make a bridge to Venice, and some 30,000 spectators on St. Mark's Basin; it's a party that ends at nightfall with a gigantic fireworks display.

Festa del Redentore
Saint Mark's Basin

16 and 17 July 2016