The Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually called simply the Frari, is one of the largest churches in Venice and has the status of a minor basilica. It is in Campo dei Frari, in the heart of the San Polo district. The city is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary (Assunzione della Beata Virgine).
The Franciscans obtained land to erect a church in 1250, but the building was only completed in 1338. Almost immediately, work was undertaken to replace it with a larger one, the present church, which took almost a century to build and was completed in the middle of the 15th century. The steeple (finished in 1396) is 83 m high and is the second highest in the city after St. Mark’s Basilica.
The imposing church was built in Italian Gothic style tile. As in many Venetian churches, the exterior is quite simple. The interior contains the only choir grid that continues in the original location in Venice; dates from 1475 and is carved. The choir dates from 1468 and features three levels of seats, carved with low-reliefs.
The Frari is a parish church of the Vicariate of San Polo-Santa Croce-Dorsoduro. The other churches of the parish are St. Barnaba, St. Ludovico Vescovo, Santa Maria del Soccorso and Santa Margherita.