Ex Chiesa Santa Chiara in Murano: between blown glass and events

Good morning dear friends! Today I return to talk about Murano, specifically a deconsecrated that was then restored and converted to a space for events, exhibitions of glass works and demonstrations. I’m talking about the ex Chiesa Santa Chiara, where happy hours with live music and performances are organized while the master glassmaker creates authentic pieces of art.

I’m talking about it right now, because from 16 th Wednesday these artistic happy hours are organized by La Chic Venise (link to the official website here).

Whom am I talking about?

La Chic Venise comes from an idea of four young guys united by one goal: to rediscover the charm and elegance of a nightlife in Venice, proposing a calendar of weekly events that mixes art, entertainment and fun in a cocktail from unique and refined flavors. I leave here the link of the event on Facebook.

I would therefore say that there is no better opportunity to merge, architecture, local design, music and party! It is also aimed at everyone, young people and adults who want to spend an original and different evening. I also always find it very interesting when a building of artistic relevance is renewed and used as something completely different from the previous use.

Ex Chiesa Santa Chiara La chic Venise
Ph credit: Giorgio Fragiacomo

A little bit of history:

According to the first evidence, originally the building of this church belonged to the Augustinian convent dedicated to San Nicola della Torre, dated 1311, in the Santo Stefano insula. Almost fifty years later the Benedictine nuns established themselves, replaced by the Franciscan nuns of Santa Chiara of Treviso. At the beginning of the 16th century, they began to restore the church. Because of the Napoleonic decree, during the early 1800s, many monastic complexes were closed, including this church and the convent. In 1829, theese were bought by the Milanese company Fratelli Marietti, to start their production of bottles in black glass for wine, plates for windows and glass bells. From this moment on, both the church and the cloister of the convent underwent several modifications, among which the demolition of the bell tower and the opening of a arcade.

Ex Chiesa Santa Chiara stampa
Nineteenth-century view of the facade and the arcade

The other internal changes of the ex Chiesa Santa Chiara are the work of Barone Franchetti who divided the church into two floors and raised the cloister in such a way that it could be exploited for the production of glass. In 1919 it changed its name to Cristallerie Murano and the cloister was completely demolished and the arches, columns and other artistic artefacts were sold. In 1925 a new building was built with a portico that overlooks the foundations to redevelop the simpler entrance to the Franciscan one. During the 1960s, the entire property was sold and divided between various owners. It was abandoned in the 90s following the collapse of the roof of the ex chiesa Santa Chiara after a fire.

In 2012 the entire complex, now reduced to a pile of ruins, is bought by the Belluardo family, who restores the church and reopens it to the public in 2017.

Did you like this little Venetian gem, even Murano, different from the usual? In my opinion it is always very fascinating to discover anecdotes and curiosities of a Venice outside the usual paths. I hope to return soon to talk about Murano and to tell you about other hidden places in the Lagoon!


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