SAN GIROGIO DEI GRECI CHURCH, VENICE
San Giorgio dei Greci is a church in the sestiere (neighborhood) of Castello, Venice, northern Italy. It was the center of the Scuola dei Greci, the Confraternity of the Greeks in Venice. For centuries, despite the close ties of Venice to the Byzantine world, the Greek Orthodox rite was not permitted in Venice. In 1498, the Greek community gained the right to found the Scuola de San Nicolò dei Greci, a confraternity which aided members of that community. In 1539, after protracted negotiations, the papacy allowed the construction of the church of San Giorgio, financed by a tax on all ships from the Orthodox world. Construction was started by Sante Lombardo, and from 1548, by Giannantonio Chiona. The belltower was built in 1592. The interior has a monument to Gabriele Seviros (1619) by Baldassarre Longhena. The dome of the church was frescoed with the Last Judgement (1589–93) by Giovanni Kyprios. The iconostasis employed Kyprios, Tommaso Bathas, Benedetto Emporios, and Michael Damaskinos. Emanuele Tzane-Buniales, a priest and hagiographer from Crete, frescoed the Saints Simeon and Alypios, ascetic hermits, atop the pilasters. Near the church lies the Flanginian School, a Greek teachers' school, which today houses the Hellenic Institute for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice.