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Virtual Earth map of San Giorgio Maggiore

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San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice, lying east of the Giudecca and south of the main island group. It forms part of the San Marco sestiere.

The island was probably occupied in the Roman period, and definitely had a church by 829. The Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio was established in 982 and its monks drained the island's marshes. They had considerable autonomy and close links with Florence and Padua, and thus became a favoured location for foreign dignitaries to stay while in the city.

San Giorgio is now best known for the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio and begun in 1566.

In the early nineteenth century, the island became a free port with a new harbour built in 1812. It became the home of Venice's artillery. It is now the headquarters of the Cini Foundation arts centre, known for its library and is also home to the Teatro Verde open-air theatre.

In the anime series Negima!, the Library Island design is based, likely identical, to San Giorgio Maggiore.



 

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