Search this site: 

 

Photo: Travel: Italy: Venice: Churches: San Marco

Basilica di San Marco, San Marco, Venice

There isn't much to say that has not already been said about this amazing structure. Laid out in the Greek Cross to copy a Byzantine church long since vanished, this building used to be the Doge's private chapel. As such, no expense was spared in its decoration: the interior is jaw-droppingly beautiful with rich golden leaf mosaics covering every square inch of the vaulted and domed ceilings. The throngs of tourists will probably prevent you from seeing the stunning floor but it is worth a look from the upper gallery. For an additional fee, you can visit the treasury with the famous golden screen looted from Constantinople when the Venetians led the Normans in the sack of the city during the Fourth Crusade. The grave of St Mark is supposed to house the body of the saint that Venetian merchants smuggled out of Egypt. The museum on the upper floor has the real horses of St Mark (the four outside are replicas), more mosaics, some excellent tapestries, and tons of other paraphernalia that hints at the splendor of Venice at her height. Tourists shuffle in and out at a monotonous pace and although many venture snapshots, the enforcement of the photography ban is pretty strict. There are some excellent views of Piazza San Marco and the piazzetta from the outer gallery on the second floor. Worth repeated viewings. There are several guidebooks with very good photographs for sale at the gift shop.


Domes of Basilica of San Marco (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Removal of St Mark's Body From Alexandria Mosaic in the Right Most Lunette (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Lunettes, Pinnacles, Mosaics and Statues On the Gothic Exterior of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Richly Decorated Arches and a Dome of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Stunning Gothic Facade of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Pigeons and Tourists in Front of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Porphyry Statue of the Four Tetrarchs at the South West Corner of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
Gruesome Gryphon Statue at St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Frieze at the Side Entrance to St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Mosaic at the Side Entrance to the St Mark Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Pendentive at the Cupola of the Pentecost with the Descent of the Holy Spirit On the Twelve Apostles Bartholomew, Andrew, Luke, Philip, Thomas (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Rood Looking Toward the Cupola of the Prophets (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Cupola of the Pentecost at Basilica Di San Marco (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Arches Supporting the Cupola of the Ascension (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
Extensive Mosaics Cover the Interior of Basilica Di San Marco (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Looking From the Back of the Rood Screen Toward the Cupola of the Pentecost (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Rood Screen with Cupolas of the Ascension and the Pentecost (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Christ Pantocrator in the Apse Below the Cupola of the Prophets (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Pala d'Oro The Golden Altar Screen Detail (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Cupola of the Prophets with St Matthew On the Pendentivel (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Last Supper On the Intrados of an Arch (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
The Cupola of the Prophets with St John On the Pendentive (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Sarcophagus with the Body of St Mark (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Pendentive with the Lion of St Mark the Evangelist (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Cross of Gold and Silver by Jacopo Di Marco Bennato (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Tympanum with Saint Theodore and Saint Panteleimon (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Cupola of the Ascension Christ Surrounded by Apostles (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Cupola of the Prophets with Christ Pantocrator in the Apsidal Dome (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
Mosaic of a Royal Family (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Looking Northeast Down the Nave of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Metal Cruciform Candelabrum Hanging in the Nave (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Martyrdom of St Andrew On an Intrados (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Nave of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) St Michael Slaying the Dragon (Saturday, September 16th 2006) St John Damascene On an Upper Gallery Intrados (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
Christ Emanuel Mosaic in the Museum in the Upper Gallery (Saturday, September 16th 2006) St John the Baptist Receives the Vestments From the Angel Mosaic in the Museum in the Upper Gallery (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Prophet Joel Mosaic in the Museum in the Upper Gallery (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Original Horses of St Mark in the Upper Gallery of the Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Head of a Horse of St Mark (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Gargoyle On the Upper Level of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Domes of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
The Distinctive Dome of St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Series of Arches Inside St Mark's Basilica (Saturday, September 16th 2006) King Solomon's Judgment Mosaic in the North Atrium (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Facade of Basilica San Marco From the Piazza (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Corner of the Basilica Next to Doge's Palace (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Greek Influenced Domes (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Facade in the Rain (Saturday, September 16th 2006)
View of Basilica San Marco From the Museum (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Domes and Pinnacles (Saturday, September 16th 2006) The Domes at Dusk (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Rainy Night at Basilica San Marco (Saturday, September 16th 2006) Grotesque at St Mark's Basilica (Sunday, September 17th 2006) 'The Ascension of Jesus' by Luigi Gaetano in the Rightmost Lunette of the Upper Order (Sunday, March 9th 2008) 'The Resurrection of Jesus' by Luigi Gaetano in a Lunette of the Upper Order (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
'The Removal of St Mark's Body by Bonus and Rusticus From Alexandria' Mosaic (Sunday, March 9th 2008) St Clement's Gate with 'The Arrival of St Mark's Body in Venice' Mosaic (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Reliefs with Biblical Scenes Cain and Abel On the Main Portal Arch (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Hunting Scenes On the Main Portal Arch (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Intricate Stone Carving On the Doorway Arch (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Allegorical Female Figures Carved On the Main Portal Arch (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Leopoldo Dal Pozzo's 'Veneration of St Mark's Body by the Doge and Signoria' Mosaic (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
'Veneration of St Mark's Body by the Doge and Signoria' by Leopoldo Dal Pozzo On Cartoons by Sebastiano Ricci (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Symbols of the Four Evangelists in the Lunette of the Ogee Arch (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Relief On the Cornice of St Alipius' Gate (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Ogee Arch of St Alipius' Gate (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The 13th Century Mosaic 'Procession Carrying St Mark's Body to the Basilica' (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Lion in Piazzatta Dei Leoncini to the North of the Basilica (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Marble Inlays and Bas Reliefs On the North Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
The Sumptuous Decoration Above the Gate of Flowers On the North Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Nativity Scene Carved in the Lunette of the Gate of Flowers (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Figures of Prophets Carved On the Arch Above the Gate of Flowers (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Hunting Scene Inlaid in Marble On the North Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Lion of St Mark with Angels On the Gothic Upper Order Above the Main Portal (Sunday, March 9th 2008) 'The Descent Into Hell' Mosaic in the Upper Order Lunette (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Dome of Abraham and the Building of the Tower of Babeil On the Vault in the Atrium (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
The Dome of the Creation in the Atrium with Noah's Story On the Vault (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Looking Up Toward the Pentecost Dome (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Mosaics in the Vault Over the South Nave (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Passion Vault Looking North From the South Nave (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Ascension Dome with Vaults Looking Northeast From the South Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Rood Screen and Ambones Seen From the South Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Ascension Dome and North Transept Seen From the South Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
Statues of Apostles by Pier Paolo and Jacobello Dalle Masegne On the Iconostasis (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The North Transept with the Jesse Tree Mosaic On Its North Wall (Sunday, March 9th 2008) St Clement's Chapel Seen From the South Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Rood with Apostles On the Iconostasis (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Ciborium, High Altar, and St Mark's Sarcophagus Seen Through the Presbytery Screen (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Marble Pulpit at the Ambo On the North End of the Iconostasis (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Jesse Tree Mosaic by the Bianchini Brothers On Design by Salviati in the North Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
St Peter's Chapel Seen From the North Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Passion Vault Seen From the North Nave (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Angel On the Pendentive of the Pentecost Dome (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The First Dome of St Joseph in the Atrium (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Lunette in the Atrium (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Second and Third Domes of St Joseph in the Atrium (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Detail From the Dome of Abraham in the Atrium (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
The Evangelists SS Luke and John in the Lower Niches of the Narthex (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Abraham Conversing with God in the Half Dome of the Narthex (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Looking Northeast Toward the Presbytery From the Upper Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Mosaics in the Upper Gallery Is That a Reference to the 1579 Dutch Revolt and Arminius (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Rood Screen Seen From the Upper Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Revelations 12 1 to 6 with the Baby Saved From the Dragon in the Upper Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Venite Ad Me, Come to Me All You Who Are Weary and Burdened the Holy Church (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
Mosaic with Worshippers in the Upper Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Mosaic Fragments From 'Slaughter of the Innocents' From the Ante Baptistry East Wall, 14th Century (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Jacopo Sansovino's 'Virgin and Child' in Gilt Terracotta, Mid 16th Century (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Processional Standards in St Mark's Museum (Sunday, March 9th 2008) David Detail From the Jesse Tree in the North Transept (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Looking Toward the South Transept From the North Transept Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Jesus Cures the Servant of the Centurion Mosaic in the Upper Gallery (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
Processional Standard in St Mark's Museum (Sunday, March 9th 2008) St Victor Martyr by Francesco and Valeria Zuccato From Santa Maria Nova Suppressed in 1808 (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Blessed Pietro Acotanto, Father of the Poor, by Pietro Monaco From the Suppressed Santa Maria Nova (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Detail From a Tapestry in the Banqueting Room (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Stories of the Passion Flemish Tapestries in the Banqueting Room (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Resurrection Flemish Tapestry in the Banqueting Room (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Detail From the Crucifixion Tapestry in the Banqueting Room (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
The 15th Century Gilded Lion of St Mark in the Banqueting Room (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Statue of St Mark On the Intrados of an Arch On the Upper Elevation of the West Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Statue of Abraham On the Intrados of an Arch On the Upper Elevation of the West Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Detail of Colorful Mosaic Intrados On the West Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Mosaic of St Nicholas in a Niche On the Upper Elevation of the West Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Marble Inlay with an Angel On the South Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) Dead Pigeons On One of the Square Pillars of Acre in Front of the South Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008)
Capital On the Upper Elevation of the South Facade (Sunday, March 9th 2008) West Front with St Alipius' Gate (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Half Domes of the Gates of St Alipius and St Peter (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Main Portal of the West Front with Its Sculpted Arches and Marble Inlays (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The 19th Century Gilded Mosaic of the Last Judgment in the Lunette Over the Main Portal (Sunday, March 9th 2008) The Dome of the Basilica Beyond the Foscari Arch and the Marble Facade of the Doge's Palace Courtyard (Sunday, March 9th 2008)