St. Mark's Church

Chiesa di San Marco

San Marco Detail
San Marco

The construction of the St. Mark's Church in its present form was created in the 2nd Half of the 11th Century. It rests on no less than 2,643 stolen columns.

 

The facade shows Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic elements. It is divided into two halves by a balcony, on the middle the four bronze horses (Greek art of the 3rd century BC., originally from the racecourse of Byzantium, stolen by Napoleon, returned under the Habsburgs).

The façade is veneered on the sides with polychrome marble panels.

Chiesa di San Marco - Markuskirche
Chiesa di San Marco - Markuskirche
Frescoes at the entrance of San Marco
Frescoes at the entrance of San Marco

The interior of the basilica is built on the plan of a Greek cross: transept, three aisles and five domes, an elevated presbytery and galleries halfway up the side aisles. By the reductions of the foundations the ground is undulating and uneven, which contributes well to the traditional Venetian charm.

 

The most interesting part of the church is undoubtedly the presbytery, where the high altar with the St. Mark's grave is located.

The Pala d'Oro, on a rotatable shaft, closes the altar. It is the work of Venetian goldsmiths of the 14th Century. (3.48 x 1.40 m). Many precious stones embedded in them and 80 cloisonne enamel images show the major feasts of the Church, angels, apostles and prophets, grouped around a central part with the blessing Christ, which is surrounded by the four evangelists.

 

The mosaics inside cover an area of 4,000 square meters. It took 700 years to complete it.

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