“Detourism: La newsletter di Venezia”, the official Town of Venice Tourism Office Newsletter, takes us to discover the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni! Enjoy your reading!
For over three hundred years the island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni has been a slice of Armenia in the Venice lagoon. Here there is a monastery which houses a small community of Mekhitarist monks, and is one of the first centres in the world of Armenian culture.
Originally home to the Benedictines of Sant’Ilario, from the 12th century forward the island was chosen as a place of quarantine for lepers and used as a lazaret, from which the name San Lazzaro derives. After a period of abandonment, in 1717 the island was donated by the Serenissima to Mekhitar, founder of the Mekhitarist order, fleeing from Turkish persecution and taking refuge in Venice with his fraternity.
The monks devoted themselves to study, turning the island into a centre of culture and science, intended to keep the language, literature and traditions of the Armenian people alive. The monastery is open for visits every day, booking via email email@example.com or by phone +39 0415260104; you can get there by taking the vaporetto Line 20 from San Marco-San Zaccaria stop.
The hidden gem of the island is the library, which preserves thousands of ancient volumes and over four thousand manuscripts and illuminated codes, considered one of the world’s most important collections of Armenian manuscripts.
Inside the monastery there is also, in addition to the printing house of the late eighteenth century, an art gallery with works by Armenian painters and a museum where are collected archaeological finds of Armenian, Greek, Egyptian and Indian origin, including the Egyptian mummy of Nemen Khet Amen, considered one of the best preserved in the world, complete with sarcophagus.
[source: La newsletter di Venezia, N° 28/2020 del 30.07.2020]
[picture: stepanianhasmik / Pixabay]
We are proud to publish some selected contents of such newsletter (see previous post: “Detourism for the Up and Down the Bridges“). On our website, in several episodes, we will only present some samples (see all posts in our archive page “Detourism Newsletter“), but the invitation addressed to all the friends of the Up and Down the Bridges is to subscribe to the newsletter directly.
Special thanks to the Councillor for Tourism for having enthusiastically welcomed this new important collaboration between TGS Eurogroup and the Tourism Office of the Town of Venice and for giving us the precious opportunity to publish on the pages of this blog some extracts from this newsletter, both in Italian and in English.
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