Murano (Muran) comprises seven islands and is one of the most populous areas of the lagoon. It is known around the world for the centuries-old craft and artistic activities linked to Murano glass. The history of glass began here because of the many fires that broke out in Venice from the glass furnaces. In 1295 a decree of the Serenissima prohibited the processing of glass in the city centre and enforced transfer of glassmaking to Murano. During the Napoleonic period, many churches in Murano were destroyed and transformed for military purposes, such as the former church of Santa Chiara.