Santa Maria della Salute - Venice

The Salute is a vast, octagonal building with two domes and a pair of picturesque bell-towers at the back. Built on a platform made of 1,000,000 wooden piles, it is constructed of Istrian stone and marmorino (brick covered with marble dust). At the apex of the pediment stands a statue of the Virgin Mary who presides over the church which was erected in her honour. The façade is decorated with figures of Saint George, Saint Theodore, the Evangelists, the Prophets, Judith with the head of Holofernes. The dome of the Salute was an important addition to the Venetian skyline and soon became emblematic of the city, inspiring painters like Canaletto, J. M. W. Turner, John Singer Sargent, Francesco Guardi, and the Serbian poet Laza Kostić to write a poem of the same title. The church had a large influence on contemporary architects immediately after its completion. The structures modeled after the church include the shrine in Gostyń, built by Jerzy Catenazzi, Jan Catenazzi, and Pompeo Ferrari between 1675-1728, perhaps according to the original design by Baldassarre Longhena.