The grandeur and beauty of Venetian churches and convents reflected and enhanced the spiritual wealth of Venice and contributed to collective pride in the city. Religious patronage also strengthened the political control of the patrician elite and may have helped to reduce tension between social classes. It was not by accident that the early Renaissance church of S. Zaccaria, rebuilt in the second half of the fifteenth century, was considered the most important architectural work after St Mark’s. The convent of S. Zaccaria, one of the city’s oldest and most wealthy foundations, was the last big Gothic church in Venice and the only building where high vaults were risked (apart from St Mark’s), an important consideration in Venice because of the weight on the city’s foundations.