THE S.S. MARIA E DONATO BASILICA.

Cathedral of Murano, or the Basilica of Santa Maria and Donato, one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture lagoon. Established in the middle of the tenth century (but completely rebuilt in the twelfth century), the church was originally dedicated to Santa Maria. In 1126, it was associated with San Donato Martire (Bishop of Evorea), when the body of the saint was transported from Kefalonia, after the city was conquered by the naval army commanded by doge Domenico Michiel. Michiel took over as Doge in Ordelafo Faliero (around 1116 or 1117), when they perished in the fighting to subtract Dalmatia to the Kingdom of Hungary. Immediately the new Doge gave his support to the Crusaders (mostly to strengthen the Venetian trading power, still little evidence compared to rivals Pisa and Genoa). After returning from the victorious crusade, the Venetian fleet, using as a “casus belli” the refusal of the Byzantines to refuel their ships, plundered Rhodes then moved towards the Aegean where attacked Chio (here were stolen the relics of Saint Isidore) Samos, Lesbos and Andro; Venetians then brought on the coasts of the Peloponnese and set fire to Modon, returning to Venice in June of 1125, bringing with them a great spoil and numerous hostages .This is the war between Venice and Byzantium (fought between 1122 and 1126), who was the first armed confrontation between the two powers in the Eastern Mediterranean, fought by the Republic of Venice and the Byzantine Empire for control of the eastern trade, which resulted in the consolidation of mercantile domination of the maritime Republic in the Levant. In 1126, at the end of operations against the Byzantines who capitulated, a new fleet departed the attack of the Ionian islands and Kefalonia in particular (hence were stolen the remains of San Donato). The dome :inside a magnificent mosaic depicting a wonderful prayerful Madonna, wrapped in bright blue coat and surrounded by a gold background.

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