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The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower is 63 metres high.

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
The bell tower of Saint George Major is one of the most obvious in the landscape of Venice, thanks to its location on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore facing the San Mark Square.

This location puts it particularly well in value.

At sunsets and sunrises in Venice, from San Marco or the Schiavoni's bank, feature the Campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore and the facade of its church, built by Andrea Palladio, bathing them both in a yellow glow turning orange and worthy of the most beautiful films in Technicolor!

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Bell Tower
We never get tired of the beauty of this bell tower; whether it is bathed in light or soaked in mist, it is there, present, omnipresent.

We see it better than the Campanile of St Mark because no building hides the view; it is better placed in the landscape of Venice because it characterizes it alone, in this part of the lagoon.


“There, on the other bank, sitting in the middle of the golden waters like a fairy island, St. George Major, with its bell tower and dome sparkling under the rising sun.”
Pierre Loti - The Exile
The Campanile of Saint George Major is a beautiful tall tower made of red bricks and white Istrian stone.

It is also one of the tallest bell towers in Venice and one of only two that you can visit and climb by elevator to its summit, as well as that of St. Mark's.

Buratti's Campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore

Fall in 1442, then again in 1774

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Like many campaniles in Venice, the Campanile of Saint George Maggiore is no longer the original bell tower.

The first bell tower in San Giorgio Maggiore collapsed in 1442 following strong winds.

A second bell tower was rebuilt identically by reinforcing its structure.

Three centuries later, on February 27, 1774, this new bell tower collapsed in its turn, causing quite a lot of damage.

Indeed, the abbey's dormitory adjoined the church, as the choir and the sacristy were destroyed.

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Bell Tower
More sadly, a monk was killed and two others wounded.

Therefore, rebuilding a third bell tower was necessary, which was completed on December 24, 1791.

This third one you can still see right now.

The monk and architect Benedetto Buratti of Bologna designed this new bell tower in 1791.

According to Cesare Augusto Levi, the third bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore rises to 63 metres in height.

Its slender and airy arrow is one of the elements that mainly gives it its magnificent elegance.

Its colours contribute to its beauty.

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Its pink shaft, its pink and white belfry and its thin and delicate green bell tower are all distinctive signs and colours that play with the days, with the shadows and lights of the lagoon.

“The island of Saint George Maggiore, where the church of Palladio shows its Greek facade, its oriental dome and its Venetian bell tower of the most vivid pink.”
Theophile Gautier - Italia 1855

An Angel stands at its top

The Campanile Bell Tower of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice
San Giorgio Bell Tower
At the top of the Campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore stands an angel, like its neighbour of the Campanile of St. Mark, on the other side of the San Marco Basin.

However, the angel of St. Mark's Campanile is covered with gold leaf, while that one of San Giorgio has tarnished over time.

The angel of San Giorgio was also initially mobile, turning with the wind, as the angel of St Mark's Campanile still does.

Unfortunately, the restorations carried out by Forlatti on the Campanile resulted in "nailing" the angel of San Giorgio Maggiore to its base.

The Belfry and the Bells of the Campanile of Saint George Major

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
The belfry of the bell tower has six bells.

A single bell rings every hour, the number of blows equal to the hour struck, from 7 in the morning to 9 p.m., another and a smaller bell rings the half-hour.

The peal is ringing every day by the giant bell, at noon, just after the twelve blows.

Finally, the six bells peal out every Sunday at 10:45. Open and prepare your ears; it's worth it!

The View from the Campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Located on the island that bears its name, the bell tower of Saint George Major, like that of Saint Mark, is the only bell tower you can visit.

You can feel the heart of Venice from the Top of Saint Mark's bell tower; from the Top of Saint George Major, the “liquid” magic of Venice and its lagoon is offered to you!

The lift will take you to the summit, where you will discover a unique view of Venice and its lagoon.

You will not only see most of Venice, the Castello, the Doge's Palace, the Campanile of St. Mark, the Church of the Salute, the Dogana da Mar, its neighbours, the Redentore, etc.

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Then your gaze can dive far on the lagoon, to the Giudecca, the Lido, the island of the Armenians, and all the surrounding islands.

You are in a lighthouse almost in the open sea, and you see myriad boats splitting the lagoon's waves; you are suddenly at the top of an old sailboat's mast breathing the lagoon air, ready to relive the fabulous adventures of Marco Polo. Don't forget your scarf because it's often windy, even in sunny weather.

Practical Information: Prices and Tour Times of the Campanile of San Giorgio Maggiore

An elevator will quickly get you up to the top for 5€ per person.

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
From May to September The visiting hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:30 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 18:30

On Sunday, from 8:30 to 11:00 and from 14:30 to 18:30.

From October to April The visiting hours are Monday to Saturday from 9:30 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 17:00

On Sunday, from 8:30 to 11:00 and from 14:30 to 17:00.b
The afternoon is a good time for the visit as Venice will be bathed in the sunlight in front of you.

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Plan the time to travel by Water Bus (about ten minutes from Saint Mark) to get to the island, not to find a closed door. Arrive on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, leave the pier and enter Saint George Maggiore's church.

Therefore take advantage of your visit to the bell tower to admire its church, whose entrance is free and has stunning paintings, including a superb and immense Tintoretto, “Last Supper”, a picture of 3.65 m by 5 m 68!

Access to the bell tower is inside the church, at the back on the left.

To get to the island of Saint George Maggiore

The view on Venice from the San Giorgio Maggiore bell tower
View from San Giorgio Maggiore Bell Tower
Line 2 of the Water Bus will drop you on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The stop of Water Bus number 2 is on the Riva degli Schiavoni, named San Zaccaria stop.

The San Zaccaria Water Bus station is 150 metres after the Doge's Palace, leaving Piazzetta San Mark behind your back.

Cross the bridge of la Paglia (the one facing the Bridge of Sighs), pass the Danieli hotel, and cross the Ponte del Vin, and you are there!

However, at the wicket-of-Water Bus boats, asks the direction of the Water Bus you will take to go directly to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore!

On the way back, ask the staff of the Water Bus if it goes to San Marco.

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