San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice

4.6
San Lazzaro degli Armeni is a small island in the Venetian Lagoon. It lies 2km to the southeast of Venice proper and west of the Lido and covers an area of.A leper colony during the Middle Ages, the island has been home to an Armenian Catholic monastery since 1717 when the Republic of Venice ceded it to Mkhitar Sebastatsi (Mechitar) and his followers. It is the headquarters of the Mechitarist Order and, as such, one of the world's prominent centers of Armenian culture and Armenian studies especially during the 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous important publications were made in the island by Mechitarist monks which made it an early major center of Armenian printing.The island is one of the best known historic sites of the Armenian diaspora. The monastery has a large collection of books, journals, artifacts, and the third largest collection of Armenian manuscripts. Over the centuries, dozens of artists, writers, political and religious leaders have visited the island. Nowadays, it attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually.HistoryMiddle AgesIn 810 the Republic of Venice allocated the island to the abbot of the Benedictine Monastery of St. Ilario of Fusina. In 1182 a leper colony (hospital for people with leprosy) was established at the island. It was chosen for a leper colony since the island is relatively far away from the principal islands forming the city of Venice. It received its name from St. Lazarus, the patron saint of lepers. In 1348 the leper colony was renovated and a church dedicated to San Lazzaro was built. The hospital was moved to Venice in 1595 and the island was gradually abandoned. In the 17th century the island was leased to various religious groups. By the early 18th century only a "few crumbling ruins" remained in the isle.
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San Lazzaro degli Armeni Reviews
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  • August 18, 2017
    This is a visit that few tourists make Venice and yet... take the 20-San Zacharias vaporetto that stops before the island of San Servolo, which hosts the Museum of madness (reservation to visit...). Stop you to that island and go eat at the self-service for ten euros! Then take the vaporetto 20 to visit the monastery of San Lazzaro of Church Armeni. You will make an excellent tour away from the bustle of St. mark, and you can enjoy the finest collection in the world of religious manuscripts.
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  • August 7, 2017
    One learns a lot about Armenia and its relationship with Venice in a couple of hours pleasantly spent on this tiny island of the Venetian lagoon. Getting there is easy: 15 minutes on the n 20 line mot...  more »
  • July 31, 2017
    This seemed to be an island monastery museum. A great tour (once a day at 3.30, about 2 hours, suggested donation 6 euros into an unattended box) that included a church and a beautiful medieval librar...  more »

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