Dome of St. Stephen

Basilica with leaning tower
Basilica with leaning tower

The Dome is right in the center of Caorle. It was built in 1038 in the Venetian style and dedicated to St. Stephen. Inside the church is the famous golden altarpiece.

The Leaning Tower - a landmark Caorle - was built a little later.


The golden altarpiece in the main apse is a work of the eighth century in the Byzantine style and consists of six tablets of embossed, gilded silver.

They represent the following: Christ on the throne, the Virgin, the Archangel Gabriel, St. Stephen, St. Daniel and St. John. Catterina Cornaro, the former Queen of Cyprus, is said to have given this little gem as thanks for their deliverance from a storm at sea the village.

The main sculptures

  • The stoup in the Byzantine style, which stands on an inverted capital next to the main door of the Basilica;

  • The altar of St. Andrew from the XVIII. Century located in the chapel of the right nave;

  • the wooden crucifix from the XV. Century, which is attached to the central apse;

  • The six images of embossed, gilded copper, representing the Stations of the Cross - a work of architect Leghaghi of 1970;

  • The main images are six wooden panels, which represent the apostles. These are rare models from the late Gothic-Venetian school of Paolo Veneziano.

The architecture

The Dome of Caorle was build in XI. Century and divided into three naves. A decoration of marble decorated in Byzantine style, the central apse and two side apses. The ceiling shows open truss on consoles.

The facade is built in a style typical of early Christianity, and consists of three parts:

• On the central part is a rose window with a small, circular opening attached. On the wall of the right part is a series of Romanesque brick arches, supporting a cornice of brick.

• Furthermore, seven arched windows. The bell tower, which stands next to the dome, was built in the same century. It is famous around the world for its unique architecture in the Romanesque-Byzantine style.


In fact, its shape is unique: built with heavy blocks of stone from Istria, it is 48 meters high and ends in a conical dome. Its diameter is about 6.50 meters. It leans slightly to the northeast, and was formerly connected with the cathedral by a bow. According to the tradition of the place, it served both as a lookout to sift enemy ships, as well as a beacon for the returning fishermen.

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