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Street altars, or edicole, are religious shrines found throughout the city of Venice and are a subset of material culture. These altars are usually not located on churches, but are instead mounted on the sides of walls at street level. A frame is either set into, or protrudes from, the wall and may contain a framed picture, small statue, or flowers and candles. Most street altars exist for religious purposes, and often depict the religious icons of the various scuole of the city. The location of these pieces is also significant to their history with some being placed as strategic sources of light in the dark alleys, and others erected as a thanks to God for divine protection. These pieces of decorative artifacts are maintained by the local residents of Venice, and serve as places of prayer. In total, there are 109 street altars located in Venice.
Example of a Venetian Street Altar
Damage and Preservation
For general information pertaining to the sources of damage to Venetian street altars, please see the Damage to public art page.
For general information pertaining to the restoration and preservation of Venetian street altars, please see the Restoration and preservation of public art page.
Specific information regarding the damage and restoration needs of each altar can be found on the pages dedicated to each individual altar, as listed in the navigation box under the "See Also" section of this page.