The Church of San Geremia is one of the most unique shrines in all of Italy. Strategically placed on the edge of Venice’s Grand Canal, this historical shrine was first constructed in the 11th Century and was rebuilt several times throughout history. In the year 1206, it became the final resting place of St. Magnus, one of the first bishops to settle in Venice in in the late 600’s.
The present design of the church dates back to 1753, and while it boasts a familiar Baroque style, similar to many other churches in Venice, it does feature a unique structure and interior configuration. At the center of the church is a large dome, which provides support to the 4 perpendicular arms proceeding from it. A quick walkthrough of the church is all it takes to realize that you’re actually walking through a giant Greek Cross.
At the top of this cross is not the main altar as you might expect, but instead a massive tomb and sanctuary containing the body of St. Lucy. St. Lucy of course, was a virgin martyr who died under the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in the late third Century.
Tradition says that she was killed by the sword only after she had been set on fire, and it was discovered that her body would not burn. Today, the remains of her body are kept here on display to pilgrims to visit. Which is easy to do, because most tourists are kept busy exploring Saint Mark’s Basilica on the other side of Venice, which means there’s plenty of room over here to get a close look at one of the most famous saints in history.