Chiesa di Sant'Elena

Tradition says a church was built here in 1060. Records show that a monastery and hospice was founded here in 1175. Doge Pietro Ziani had a church built here in 1205 and in 1211 the body of St Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, was buried here following its theft by Venetians from Constantinople. A papal bull of 1407 lead to the creation of a monastery for Benedictine Olivetan monks and this reconstruction, by Giacomo Celega with help from Bartolomeo Tesenato, was completed in 1439. More work followed, before the church was reconsecrated in 1515. The church and monastery were suppressed by the French in 1807 and, it is said, 102 paintings were stripped out.