Saint Mark’s Basilica, also called Saint Mark’s Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica, is the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Venice . It is the best examples of an Italo-Byzantine architecture. Found in Piazza San Marco’s tail connected to the Doge’s Palace. In 1807, it was the town’s cathedral and was a seat to the Venice Patriarch.

Surely it is a symbol of Venetian wealth and strength having such opulent style of golden earth mosaics. The Chiesa d’Oro or the Church of gold is the nickname given to it in the 11th century.

Saint Mark's Basilica photoPhoto by IainCameron

History

In the 9th century, Saint Mark’s Basilica has established housing sacred relics. In 828 AD, St. Mark the Evangelist’s remains were stolen by retailers, he is among the Alexandrian apostles. Legend says that thieves hid inside barrels of pork!

In 976 AD, there was a destructive fire burning the church to ashes. It was then restored in 1063. The Venetian Republic soared and the basilica expanded as well symbolizing the republic’s strength and power.

Interesting Facts about Saint Mark’s Basilica

It has a Byzantine cross plan for its construction with about five domes. The construction is a creation of Byzantine as well as Italian craftsmen and architects.

There were additional mosaics of sculptures and significant objects in the subsequent years.

It used to be a chapel for the was the doge but in 1807, it was converted to a city cathedral.

The facade of the basilica has the upper, lower, and also the domes.

Upper mosaics depicts Christ’s from the life, the Final Judgment was added in the 19th-century found in the portal. Several mosaics were already replaced in the basilica through the years.

The portals’ lunettes depict Saint Mark’s relics through the artistic Mosaics.

Old Testament stories are primary the theme of mosaics, however, the visitor is introduced to stories in the New Testament inside the church premises.

Winged Lion in the window — the symbolizes Venice, with the angels and Saint Mark along the gate.

There are horses found in Hippodrome of Constantinople which is currently in the basilica’s museum. These horses in front are merely replicas.

The Four Tetrarchs statue is taken from the Constantinople. These are symbols of four Roman rulers who controlled Tetrarchs.

The San Marcos bell tower stands about 99 meters high and is used for navigation being a replica of the lagoon tower.

The interior is just spectacular, it’s almost impossible to ignore the gilded mosaics dating back to the 12th-century focus on the theme of Christian salvation.

The theme revolves around the following events: St. Peter and St. Clement’s martyrdom, the Virgin Mary, the difficult lives of John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, and of Isadore, the wonderful pantheon of saints respected by the people.

The Pala d’Oro is a famous board of gold embedded with precious gems. It has a stunning 300 sapphires, 400 garnets, 300 emeralds, and an astounding 1,300 pearls. A masterpiece of a Byzantine goldsmith that was further furnished since 1976.

Several among these precious stones were stolen by Napoleon but many gems are left and protected by its glass case.
In the altar, is kept the treasures and expensive art pieces. These church has withstood many attempts to its riches and continues to preserve the history engraved there.

Basilica di San Marco
San Marco, 328
30124 Venezia
Telefono: +39 041 2708311
Email: info@procuratoriasanmarco.it
Site: Saint Mark’s Basilica

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