Situated on the Campo dei Frari in the heart of the San Polo district, the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is one of the most important churches in Venice. Affectionately known as the “Frari”, construction began on the church around 1340 by the Franciscans and its immense campanile (the second tallest in the city) was completed in 1396.
The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is constructed from brick and one of three Venetian churches built in the Italian Gothic style. It is the only church in the city to still contain its original rood screen, an ornate partition between the chancel and nave.
The interior of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is in keeping with the minimalistic style of Franciscan churches. However, it does contain a number of artistic treasures that include the triptych “Madonna and Child Enthroned with Four Saints” by Giovanni Bellini in the sacristy and a wooden statue of St. John the Baptist by Florentine sculptor Donatello in the right transept. In the left transept is another statue of St. John the Baptist by sculptor Jacopo Sansovino.
Other works of note include the Monks’ Choir, which was carved by Marco Cozzi and depicts saints and scenes from Venice, as well as Titian’s “Assunta” that is situated over the high altar. His “Madonna di Ca' Pesaro” is also found within the church and considered one of his most important works, while the Mausoleum of Titian was gifted by Ferdinand I of Austria during his reign as King of Lombardy Veneto.