The stories of the Islands of the Venice Lagoon are often linked to the Church and to the multitude of brotherhoods. That is also the case of the Isle of the Armenians.
Immersed in the waters of the lagoon and in front of the golden island of Lido you will find the small island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni. first habited by Benedictine Monks and later it became a hospital, the so-called “Lazzaretto”, run by various religious congregations. On the begining of the ‘700 with the permission of the Senate of Venice was arrive the Abbot Mechita of Sebaste, founder of the Mekhitarista community of Istanbul, he starded the restoration of the ancient church and the foundation of the Monastery. Gradually the abbot, has let revived the church dedicated to St. Lazarus and later he built the environments of the monastery of the cloister, the Art Gallery and Library, today it house fifty thousand volumes and certain ancient Armenian manuscripts. Soon the monastery became an important center of spirituality and of the Armenian tradition. Since the eighteenth century it became a printing house for the dissemination of texts in Armenian. Luckly the community and its buildings were spared during the Napoleonic invasion although the emperor had given orders to knock down all the monasteries of Venice. The 17th of August, 1810 was decreed the order to preserve the Armenian community of monks because the monastery was considered in all respects an academy of sciences. Therefore, the brotherhood could enjoy the protection of the Emperor of Austria. In this quiet oasis in the Lagoon, with its tradition of hospitality still scholars and students of Armenia come to stay as like in 1816 when Lord Byron, English poet, moved there to study the Armenian language.
Today, you can enjoy this harmony between history and spirituality with guided tours every day at 3:25 P.m. accompanied by an Armenian Monk. In the island you can get a lot of information related to the ancient history of Venice.
Just a few minutes from the historic center, reachable by waterbus, the island allows you to enjoy a relaxing cultural break that will be an additional experience to make your stay even more special in the city of Venice.
The island is accessible by line no. 20 that leaves from San Zaccaria at 3:10 P.m.