In 1330, the hermit Bisina built himself a narrow cell in the campanile from which he emerges on the night of the Ascension to reach San Marco an receive indulgence while he would clamber onto the dome to hear Mass at Santa Margherita. The 1305 campanile in de’ Barbari has a twin pilaster-strip well, a three-light belfry and acone-shaped spire protected by a parapet. In 1687, the lower part of the campanile was clad in sturdy ashlarwork and the door arch framed with a monster. The ashlar continues onto the walls of the church, where episodes from the life of St Margaret are illustrated. In Gabriele Bella (L’ingresso di un Piovan a Santa Margherita, 1760), this campanile is still there. In 1808, the now unsafe campanile was reduced to a height of 14 metres and converted into housing.
Detail Jacobo de’Barbari map, 1500
The church, The parish church was erected by the merchant Geniano Busignaco under doge Pietro Tradonico. Consecrated in 853, it survived until the mid seventeenth century. Sabellico tells us that the apse was covered with gold and richly decorated with mosaics. At the end of the fifteenth century, when de’ Barbari was executing his view, the church had a nave and two aisles with a flat apse and had lost its dome. In 1687, Giambattista Lambranzi modernised it and, as at the church of the Eremite, he “made a demure exterior correspond to a sumptuous interior”.
A parish until 1810, Santa Margherita became a tobacco factory, then a warehouse for marble from the suppressed churches. In 1882, the building became an Evangelicl church, then the studio of the Sculptor, Luigi Borro, and finally a cinema. In the early 90s, the architectLuciano Gemin transformeditinto a lecture hall for the university of Venice at Ca’ Foscari.
The mascherini, The Saint Also known as Margaret the Virgin, she’s famous for surviving being eaten by a dragon, perhaps this is the connection to the monster decoration on the bell tower. A 15th century statue of her standing with the dragon now guards the campo from on high but was originally inside the church.
A sea monster carved vertically and protagonist of the post sculpture smeared in Venice. A dragon which unfortunately is missing more than one piece of marble to the point where it is almost unrecognizable.
A lion laying in march “to moeca” that seems to be affected by baroque influences and was deprived of the book that held it.
And finally a head scacciadiavolo on the facade of the former Church of Santa Margherita Auditorium hour of Ca ‘Foscari.
These were placed mainly on the jamb of the door bell and were used just to keep away the demons sacred building.