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San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Venice

(4.6/5 based on 280+ reviews on the web)
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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  • Our friends told us about San Lazzaro deli Armeni and we are so glad we decided to visit. The vaporetto will pick you up at San Zacarri and take you to San Lazaro (I believe only twice per day-check t...  more »
  • amazing glasswork vaulted ceilings stonework and murals are amazing very peaceful place no flashes but you can take pictures plenty of natural light  more »
  • An island which is a small piece of Armenia, very nice trip to escape the crowds that are choking the city. Passionate guides do discover this place out of the ordinary, full of curiosities. The departure of the vaporetto to 15 h is set for this visit. Highly recommended
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