The building of the church began in 1519 and it is distinguished by its altars dedicated to the arts and crafts. Many famous people were buried here, including Benedetto Marcello and Gasparo da Salò. The facade, crowned by three lantern spires in brick, has three XVI century doorways, the central one flanked by majestic columns. The interior is divided into a wide nave and two broad aisles and has a raised chancel; when this was built in 1978 a bridge was constructed over the road to the north to facilitate the building work. The inlaid choir-stalls in the chancel, the work of Clemente Zamara (1581), are extremely fine while there is a valuable organ made by Graziadio and Costanzo Antegnati (1581) to the left of the choir.
The church has ten chapels on each side richly decorated with paintings mostly dating from the XVIII century. Frescos of the school of Romanino have recently been uncovered in the lunettes over the chapels at the end of the aisles and on two panels on the walls of the chancel.
There are two cloisters to the west of the church with entry from Piazzetta S.Giuseppe; both have interesting frescos from the XVII - XVIII century of subjects connected with the Franciscan Order: A third large cloister to the north has lately been restored.
Since 1978 The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the Museum of Liturgical Objects has been housed in the monastery and brings together works coming from churches, organisations and private individuals, mostly of a sacred nature. There are paintings by Romanino and also by Gian Battista Pittoni, Giuseppe Tortelli, Antonio Cifrondi besides interesting sculptures and objects of applied art.
CHURCH AND MONASTERY OF SAN GIUSEPPE AND DIOCESAN MUSEUM
Vicolo San Giuseppe, 5