Time stands still in Torcello
Torcello with its port, metallurgical, glass and woolen industries was, before Venice, a thriving center of commerce. During the peak period, on the island flourished noble families and the number of inhabitants reached 50.000 units.
From 638 until 1689 it also was the Archbishop’s Holy See. From the thirteenth century onwards, due to the bury of seabeds and the uselessness of its harbor, began a period of decline that led to the migration of its inhabitants towards Venice.
Currently, the only trace of its glorious past is the monumental complex consisting of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with beside the remains of the Baptistery and the Church of Santa Fosca. Special is the marble chair in the garden in front of the Basilica from which the legend tells that it was Attila’s throne.
The Saint Mary Assunta’s Cathedral was probably built in 639 and, by order of the Doge Pietro Orseolo II°, completely restored in 1008. It is a typical Romanesque church in the Venetian-Byzantine style. The precious mosaic “the Apotheosis of Christ and Judgment day” is kept inside, a masterpiece of Venetian-Byzantine school of the 1100s. It is divided into six parts in which six episodes of the death and passion of Christ and the Judgment Day is represented.
Today, Torcello is almost uninhabited, but it is daily visited by a lot of tourists attracted by its beauty, its monuments as well as from the magic atmosphere breathed.