The magnificent Salute shares the small triangular piece of land (Punta della Dogana) on which it is constructed with two other buildings. One is also religious in function; the Patriarchal Seminary, but the other is far more secular in origin. The Dogana da Mar, may originally cause you to think it has something to do with the Dukes, or Doges of Venice, but no. Dogana is the Italian word for Customs and its position right at the tip of the triangle is ideal to spot every vessel entering the basin and provide them with somewhere to dock while excise duties were paid.
The building is relatively low, so complements rather than competes with the stature of Salute, but it has one notable feature. Two statues of Atlas support a globe, and represent Venetian dominance, but atop the globe is a third figure representing Fortune. (Appropriate enough here). Holding a sail in outstretched arms, the statue rotates as a weather vane, perhaps also to represent the fickleness of fortune; changing with the wind.
The buildings own fortunes have changed. After decades lying empty it was restored a few years ago and is now an art museum.
- Secret Venice: The Observatory of the Patriarchal Seminary (irenebrination.typepad.com)