Saint Mark’s Basilica

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One of the most beautiful, as well as the most popular landmarks in Venice is Saint Mark’s Basilica.

The monument is an implementation of the spiritual, political, and social history of the Republic of Venice.

Saint Mark’s Basilica was built in 829 to preserve the remains of an evangelist Mark, who became a sole patron of the town. However, there was a fire in 927 that totally destroyed the church, and only between 1043 to 1072, the basilica was rebuilt.

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice at sunset
St. Mark's Cathedral © Habrus Liudmila / Shutterstock

Architectural Art of Saint Mark’s Basilica

The lower part of the church facade is composed of five arched passages with columns and is decorated with eastern column caps. Every semicircle of the arches is covered with magnificent mosaics, and between them, there are Byzantine bas-reliefs of the 12th century.

In front of the glazed central passage, there are four bronze horses made by a Greek sculptor Lysippos that are fixed on the terrace. The horses were brought from Constantinople in 1204, and they were covered with gold at that time.

The atrium is a stunning gallery decorated with a colorful mosaic and divided by arch passages with domes, where you can get from the central portal. There are marble columns at the walls, some of them are brought from Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. Almost all mosaic pictures, adorned the arcs and the domes, are devoted to the scenes from the Books of the Old and New Testaments, and also tell the story about Noah’s Ark and the Flood.

According to the Eastern tradition, the choir gallery is separated from the church by the iconostasis that is decorated with polychromic marble. Eight columns sustain the architrave with statues of Apostles and the Virgin Mary.

Ancient quadriga on the dome of Saint Mark in Venice
St. Mark's Cathedral © ArTono / Shutterstock

Sacred Secrets of the Basilica

One of the chapels houses Nikopoia – a Byzantine icon of the 10th century that was brought to Venice after another crusade. The remains of Saint Mark are kept in the urn behind a grating on the main altar of the Basilica. There is also a genuine medieval masterwork of jewelry – the Pala d’Oro. This altar was ordered from the jeweler masters from Constantinople in 978, and in 1209, it was enriched with Byzantine enamel and gold.

This famous landmark of Italy almost all is made up of the great masterpieces of the famous artists. A baptismal font, that is located in the center of Baptistery, was performed by Francesco Segala, Tiziano Minio, and Desiderio da Firenze under the sketches of Jacopo Sansovino in the 15th century. Furthermore, Segala is a creator of the statue of John the Baptist as well.

If you are an art lover, we recommend you to visit the Museo Correr, where, among a large number of exhibit items, there is a Titian’s memorial headstone.

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Interior of St. Mark's Cathedral
Cathedral of St. Mark © lornet / Shutterstock

Saint Mark’s Basilica on the map

Saint Mark’s Basilica - attractions nearby

Entrance tickets & Tours

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6 hours
Prosecco Wine Tastings Tour
15 reviews
Discover the origins and history of the most famous sparkling italian wine, Prosecco. Meet our wine expert guide in Piazzale Roma, close to the historical center of Venice, and take seat on a comfortable van as you are driven towards Prosecco region. During your trip you will pass by the original region of Prosecco, Valdobbiadene and Conegliano, a magic area of small towns and expanses of vineyards. You will visit two traditional wineries to learn all the secrets of Prosecco production and have a guided wine tasting, then you will stop in a local trattoria for a light lunch with some typical dishes. At the end of the tour you will be dropped back at the starting point.
from 95
Free cancellation
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from 95
Free cancellation
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2 hours
Up and down the bridges, Venice as an insider
1 review
This tour offers the possibility to see Venice outside the most common tourist routes, but without forgetting the most important monuments. Crossing the "sconte" (secondary alleys where tourists usually get lost) we reach places otherwise difficult to find. This is authentic Venice, where citizens live, work and bring their children to school.
from 160
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from 160
Free cancellation
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1 hour
Proposal Photographer in Venice
1 review
A professional Venice proposal photographer that will capture your marriage proposal in a contemporary and candid style of photography. Your photographer will ensure you return home with beautiful photos that will last a lifetime and can be shared with friends & family. We specialise in pairing travellers with photographers in many destinations world wide and have a wealth of knowledge to help you pick the perfect spot for your proposal.  We will contact you to discuss your plans and offer locations to ensure everything is tailored to suit your unique needs, leaving you to concentrate on your special moment. The photographer will be a professional that has experience capturing destination proposals in Venice and who is local to the city. Your photos will be professionally edited and provided to you via a beautiful online gallery within 5 working days, no hidden charges.
from 247
Free cancellation
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from 247
Free cancellation
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2 hours
Venice Small-Group Sunset Cruise by Traditional Venetian Boat
47 reviews
See the ‘City of Love’ at its most charming on this 2-hour sunset cruise in Venice. Climb aboard a traditional Venetian boat, and then, with an expert skipper-guide, glide across the Venetian Lagoon. Cruise through St Mark's Basin and alongside the Venetian Lido, passing some of the area’s idyllic islands. Then, unwind with half a bottle of Prosecco and watch the sky morph into beautiful shades of red, orange and pink. Numbers are limited to 11 people per boat, ensuring a more intimate, small-group experience.
from 85
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from 85
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Hotels near Saint Mark’s Basilica

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