The church, which was consecrated in 1583 and dedicated to the twins Cosma and Damiano, was part of the adjacent Benedictine convent founded in 1481 by the abbess Marina Celsi.
Gravestone of Marina Celsi
3-D reconstruction of the interior with the location of the known paintings (reconstructive hypothesis by arch Claudio Spagnol)
Over time the interior was gradually decorated with altars and increasingly embellished by the most celebrated painters working in Venice. In the 18th century on the walls you could admire paintings by Palma il Giovane, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Padovanino, Ricci and others.
The frescoes in the apse by Girolamo Pellegrini date back to 1672.
The history of Venice, the events connected with the fall of the Republic, the subsequent French domination, the serious state in which the monastery was found in the early 19th century led to the dispersion of all the artistic heritage that was preserved there except for the frescoes.
With the Napoleonic invasion, the Church closed, the nuns were removed and teh church
assumed the function of infirmary and warehouse.
Photo of the last decades of the 19th century.
In 1887, during the industrial revolution, the church was sold to a private company owned by the Herion family, which transformed it into a factory for the production of yarns and textile products. Its interior was turned upside down following the construction of two floors that divided it into three floors destined for production. The factory closed exactly 100 years later, in 1987.
The industrial spinning machinery on the second floor during the Herion property.
Thanks to the commitment of the Municipality of Venice a patient restoration (co-financed by the Veneto Region through European Regional Development Funds) was carried out. The work, based on the project and construction supervision of the architect Claudio Spagnol, began in 2003 and continued until 2008. The project aimed to return the church to the city and establish an incubator for high-tech companies.
The new volume of the church is divided into 2 spaces. One consisting of the apse and a portion of the hall, freed from the attics that divided it into three floors. The other, destined to establish the new productive functions, instead maintains its nineteenth-century partition on 3 levels.
SerenDPT has occupied the space of the former church since 2018.