The Votive Temple
The votive Temple, dedicated to Santa Maria Immacolata, overlooks the lagoon from the Riviera di Santa Maria Elisabetta and today is a military shrine and ossuary.
The building is circular with a staircase at its centre; in the upper part you have the church and, in the lower part, supported by columns of black marble, there is the crypt, with the burial recesses of the fallen. The origin of this building dates back to 1916, in the middle of the First World War, when the Patriarch of Venice Pietro La Fontaine vowed to build a temple dedicated to the Madonna Immacolata in the event that Venice emerged unscathed from the conflict.
The construction of the temple began in 1925 and in 1928 the coffin of Romualdo Guicciardi was transported here, considered the first person to have died in the war while defending Venice. From 1929, the crypt of the temple was transformed into a military ossuary, and the following year the remains of almost three thousand victims of the Great War were transported here from cemeteries throughout the Venice area, to which over the years were added the bodies of victims of the Second World War, not only from Italy, but also from Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia. Here, you will also find the remains of Nazario Sauro, commander and holder of the Gold Medal for Military Valor killed in 1916 by the Austrians in Pula.
The work to complete the Temple was rather long, especially due to the lack of funds: the structures of the Church and dome were completed only in 1937, and the work was completed in 1942 with the arrangement of the statue of the Madonnina on the central dome.
In March 2021, the Votive Time Committee of the Lido of Venice was established, which took on the task of recovering the works within the Shrine, to enhance its historical and symbolic role, to set up exhibitions and organise events.