San Clemente Church

San Clemente Church

A history dates 1131

San Clemente Church

The history of San Clemente Church is steeped in rich significance and has witnessed remarkable events throughout the centuries. The island itself was settled in 1131, thanks to the patronage of Venetian merchant Pietro Gattilesso. He funded the construction of the church of San Clemente, along with a hospice for pilgrims and soldiers bound for the Holy Land during the Crusades.

The name of the church pays homage to Pope Clement I, a martyr and patron saint of seamen. Its facades bear engravings of soldiers, an unusual feature for a religious structure, serving as a testament to the significant events that unfolded in the history of Venice.

One notable event depicted on the doors is the Naval Battle of Lepanto, which took place on October 7, 1571. The battle saw the Republic of Venice leading a coalition of Christian states against the Ottoman Empire, resulting in a decisive victory for the Holy League. This momentous battle marked a turning point in European history and led to the decline of Ottoman naval power in the Mediterranean.

In 1643, the Venetians, as an act of gratitude for surviving a devastating plague epidemic in 1630, funded the construction of a new chapel within San Clemente Church. This chapel, modeled after the Holy House of Loreto, is known as the "church in a church" and remains a prominent feature of the architectural design.

Throughout its existence, San Clemente Church faced various challenges. The fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797 and the subsequent suppression of religious orders by Napoleon in 1810 led to the departure of the Camaldolese monks, transforming the island into a military garrison. Eventually, the island served as a hospital and various other buildings until it experienced an economic crisis. The property changed ownership to a bank before being acquired by a hotel firm, which successfully managed the island for three years. Finally, the renowned Kempinski group took over the management, transforming San Clemente Palace into a prestigious hotel and resort.

Over the years, San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice has received numerous accolades, including recognition as the Best Wedding Hotel in 2017 at the World Tourism Awards, Best Hotel in Venice in 2018 according to Condé Nast Readers Choice, and Best Wedding Resort in 2019 at the World Travel Awards. It has also been recommended by Forbes Travel Guide and recognized as the Best Ecological Hotel in Venice in 2022 by TraveMyth. Furthermore, it holds the distinction of being named the Best Historic Hotel in Europe for 2022 by Best Historic Hotels of the World.

San Clemente Church stands as a testament to Venice's history, architectural grandeur, and cultural significance, making it a cherished destination for visitors from around the world.