Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.5 out of 5 stars 244 Reviews

Piazza San Marco - SAN MARCO

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • San Marco Basilica interior - Gold cupolas
    San Marco Basilica interior - Gold...
    by suvanki
  • Basilica di San Marco, Venice
    Basilica di San Marco, Venice
    by spidermiss
  • Basilica San Marco
    Basilica San Marco
    by aukahkay
  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Loggia dei Cavalli - Horses of Saint Mark

    by csordila Updated Apr 24, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Front facade of the Basilica, showing the four gilded, almost pure copper (not bronze!) horses of the quadriga, the triumphal chariot, located on the porch over the main entrance . No one is sure where these horses came from and whether they are Greek (Lysippos?) or Roman. They could date from the 3rd century BC up to the 2nd AD.
    The emperor Constantine acquired them by conquering Rome and they graced the hippodrome of Constantinople, what the Romans called Circus.
    The horses, together with a lot of treasures incl. the precious-metal iconostasis from Hagia Sophia were looted by the Venetians during the Fourth Crusade, organized by Enrico Dandolo and moved to Venice in the 1200s.
    Originally were located at the Arsenale, but someone, probably a later Doge, had the bright idea of putting them on the terrace of the Basilica.
    The present day horses are copies. The orginals were restored and placed inside the Basilica, in a display area right behind the copies in 1977.

    Entrance fee upstairs to the terrace incl. museum 4 €.
    Open 9.45 am - 4.45 pm.

    The four horses S. Giorgio Maggiore - A telephoto shot from loggia Passage to Palazzo Ducale
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo

    Basilica

    by junecorlett Written Jan 27, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    St Mark's Basilica
    This magnificent structure dates from the 11th century and was built to hold the relics of St Mark the Evangelist, the city's patron saint. The facade is richly decorated by copies of the four famous gilded bronze horses, while the interior museum contains mosaics and prescious art works, as well as original bronze horses. It is open from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday through Saturday and 1.00pm to 4.00pm on Sundays (Admission Free)

    Basilica
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    Basilica di San Marco

    by Tijavi Updated Nov 18, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Marco owes its uniqueness to the blend of architectural and decorative styles reflected in the building itself and its interiors. For instance, the facade is seemingly a jumble of oriental and romanesque architectural styles - but the effect is fascinating.

    I specifically liked the mosaics that adorned the facade and the central dome (the Ascension Dome) inside created by 13th century Venetian craftsmen. The image of St Mark and the angels with the giant cross on the backdrop present great photo opportunities (see main photo).

    Visitors to the cathedral are requested to dress appropriately, and bags are not allowed inside. There is a free one-hour storage just off Piazzetta San dei Leoni (to the right of the cathedral). While entrance to the cathedral is free, it is worth visiting the museum (entrance fee of 3 euros) which contains St Mark's original gilded bronze horses (the ones on the facade are replicas) as well mosaics, medieval manuscripts and antique tapestries. From the museum balcony, one could also view the hordes of tourists milling around Piazza San Marco.

    Statue of St Mark with angels Piazza San Marco's biggest attraction Mosaic showing body of St Mark being Mosaic showing Christ's resurrection Two of the domes from the Campanile

    Was this review helpful?

  • lina112's Profile Photo

    San Marco

    by lina112 Written Sep 4, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Is the most important catholict temple in Venice and masterpiece with byzantine influence. It construction began in 828 to keep the body of St Marks that was brought from Alexandria. It was burnt in a riot in 975 and rebuilt in c XI by architects and buildiers from Constantinopla.

    Es el principal templo católico de Venecia y obra maestra de influencia bizantina. Su construcción empezó en el 828 para guardar el cuerpo de San Marco que fue traido de Alejandría. Fue quemada en un motín en 975 y reconstruida en el siglo XI por arquitectos y obreros de constantinopla.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    Basilica San Marco

    by mallyak Written Sep 1, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Saint Mark's Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Marco a Venezia), the cathedral of Venice, is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on St Mark's Square (in the San Marco sestiere or district) adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral. Since 1807 it has been the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d'Oro (Church of gold).

    Was this review helpful?

  • kmohandas's Profile Photo

    BASILICA DI SAN MARCO- MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDING

    by kmohandas Updated Jul 21, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Once, St. Mark on his way to Rome took shelter on the shores of a lagoon in Venice. It is believed that on the same night an angel appeared there and uttered these words to St. Marks.“Pax tibi, Marce evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum” (“Peace be with you Mark,my Evangelist. Here shall your body rest”). However St. Marks died in Alexandra and was buried there.
    Later, in 828 the body of St Mark was retrieved from Alexandria and brought to Venice. The construction of this beautiful church started immediately to house the body. The Basilica di San Marco was consecrated in 832 in honour of this great saint. This was later set to fire in the year 976 during a popular revolt against the Doge Pietro Candiano IV. The marvelous building you see today was built in 1063–94, embellished in the succeeding centuries.
    The marble-clad exterior is adorned with numerous pieces of ancient stonework. There are Romanesque carvings of the arches of the central doorway. Number of porphyry figures on the wall on the waterfront side – known as the Tetrarchs, is fourth-century Egyptian work depicting Diocletian and his three aides, who once ruled the Roman Empire. The interior of the church is decorated with mosaics on golden back-ground and varieties of marble stones. The floor is of marble and glass which glows In the dim light. The screen separating the choir from the nave is decorated with masterpieces of Venetian Gothic sculptures.
    This is an ideal place to visit for lovers of art and architecture.
    It is open to visitors from 9.45 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee is Euro 2/-.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Architecture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • tuff's Profile Photo

    Basilica

    by tuff Updated Jun 20, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Basilica is very attractive on the outside as well as the inside, this magnificent structure dates back from the 11th century and was built to hold the relics of St. Mark the Evangelist, the city’s patron saint. The façade is richly decorated by copies of the four famous gilded bronze horses, while the interior museum contains mosaics and precious artworks, as well as their original bronze horses. Admission to the general area is free, you have to pay extra to visit other areas of the Basilica. You must check your backpack at an adjacent facility before entering the Basilica.

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    VAriety and Many of them

    by BruceDunning Updated May 31, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are a number of churches and besides the most famous Basilica St. Marks, many others are worth seeking out if you can find them. As we entered from the train station, the most impressive with the statues ringing the front and a most beautiful inside, called Santa Maria de Nazereth/Scalzi church church. It was originally built in the 7th century. It has one of the most elaborate inside views of any church I have ever seen. The red marble spiral columns at the alcove and the plaster reliefs with great baroque, and the Frazini painting and organ are top notch.
    Across the canal by the train station is SAn Simeone Picolco. Probably considered a great church, it was one of the last built in 1718-36 in a more poor district of Venice. The disappointment was the desecrated front with an ad of a sexy women while it is being renovated. How can a church allow such an UGLY thing happen. The Frari is steeped in history and the complex is large. However, the insides was not that impressive in splendor interior other than paintings, but the holding a many tombs is its legacy.

    Frari and complex Across from train station By train station on bridge-unknown name San Stae on Grand CAnal Bridge view toward Church Frari
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    The Tiled Church

    by BruceDunning Updated May 28, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The impressive decoration is the golden tiled church. It is 8000 square meters, and the most colorful and imaginative work in all of the world. Totally beyond imagination how many hours and people it took to complete placing those small tiles. Byzantine and Gothic architecture, and the mosaic was done over 8 centuries, with inlaid tiles starting in the 11th century. Much restoration has been done, starting in the 16th-17th centuries, and continues today.
    The beginning of the church is 828-836 with the taking of St. Mark's body from Alexandria. The first church was burned in 976 due to a rebellion. It was rebuilt and the present basilica is is from the 1094 completion. Mosiacs hold stories of the Bible and lives of Christ, Virgin Mary, St. Mark's and other saints. The overall theme is the presentation of Christ's life in three cycles. Many stories are told in the tile display of the religion and Christ and his times. The front has 5 arched entrances, and interior 5 domes, with a form displaying a Greek cross in the middle. The golden alter is 11' by 4 1/2' comprising enamel and multiple jewels. Many items in the church were from Eastern Europe as war and entitlement reparations, most in 1200's.
    Today's church is a Patriarch of Venice since 1807
    Entry cost is 9.50 Euro. The basilica also holds the treasury to view for an additional charge of 2 Euro. The altar charge is another 2 Euro. A Venice card allows for a much cheaper discount for multiple visits to other sites.

    View from the square View of Gothic rose window Dome of the Pentacost God reaching on the Apostles View from the square Tile facade beauty
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • elpariente's Profile Photo

    "Musts" en/in Venezia

    by elpariente Written May 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Es casi una "misión imposible" decir cuales son los sitios que se deben de ver en una visita a Venecia , ya que depende de los gustos de cada uno , del tiempo que tengas para conocer Venecia , de las colas que haya para entrar a los sitios ...
    De todas formas me voy a arriesgar y voy a citar algunos :
    - La Basílica de San Marcos y el Palacio Ducale
    - La Galeria de la academia
    - La Colección de Peggy Guggenhein
    - Un paseo por el Gran Canal
    - Palazzo Fortuny
    - Una visita al Hotel Danielli
    - Una noche de opera en La Fenice
    - Ver los Tintorettos de San Rocco
    - ...
    Podríamos seguir listando muchos más , pero lo importante es no agobiarse y disfrutar Venecia , visitando y disfrutando lo que puedas ver y dejar el resto para "la próxima visita"


    It is almost an " impossible mission" to say which sites must be seen in a visit to Venice, because it depends on the tastes of each one , time you have to know Venice, the queus you have to enter the Sites ...
    Anyway I am going to risk and I will mention a few:
    -- St Mark's Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale
    -- The Gallery of the Academy
    -- The Peggy Guggenheim Collection
    -- A visit to the Grand Canal
    -- Palazzo Fortuny
    -- A visit to Hotel Danielli
    -- A night at La Fenice opera
    -- Enjoy Tintorettos at San Rocco
    -- ...

    We could go on listing many more , but the important thing is not to be stressed and enjoy Venice, visiting and enjoying what you can see and leaving the rest for "the upcoming visit"

    Was this review helpful?

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Basilica di San Marco

    by wilocrek Updated Apr 30, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A classic landmark of Venice, this church was consecrated in 1094 and is the third to have been built on this site. It's Byzantine architecture reflects strong trading links with the Orient and its lavish riches are the bounty of the formidable crusades. Its uknown as to whether or not all the pigeons were part of the bounty or just a result of thousands of tourists buying bird feed from vendors and passing out free meals...one things for sure there are way too many pigeons!

    Was this review helpful?

  • ealgisi's Profile Photo

    St Mark's Basilica

    by ealgisi Written Apr 30, 2008

    The cathedral of Venice, also known as Chiesa d'Oro.

    Originally this was the chapel of the Venetian rulers and not considered as the cathedral.

    Constructed in 828, has been replaced by a new church in 832.
    This new church was burned in 976 during a rebellion and then rebuilt in 978, then consacrated in 1094.

    Was this review helpful?

  • eksvist's Profile Photo

    Piazza San Marco and Basilica di San Marco

    by eksvist Written Apr 26, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St Mark's Square, is the principal square of Venice, Italy.
    It is the only urban space called a piazza in Venice; the others, regardless of size, are called campi.
    As the central landmark and gathering place for Venice, Piazza San Marco is extremely popular with tourists, photographers, and Venetian pigeons.

    St Mark's Basilica - Basilica di San Marco a Venezia, the cathedral of Venice, is the most famous of the city's churches and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. It lies on St Mark's Square adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the "chapel" of the Venetian rulers, and not the city's cathedral.

    The Horses of Saint Mark were installed on the basilica in about 1254. They date to Classical Antiquity; by some accounts they once adorned the Arch of Trajan. The horses were long displayed at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, and in 1204 Doge Enrico Dandolo sent them back to Venice as part of the loot sacked from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. They were brought to Paris by Napoleon in 1797 but returned to Venice in 1815. After a long restoration, since the 1990s they have been kept in St Mark’s Museum (inside the basilica). The horses now on the facade of the cathedral are bronze replicas.

    I think when you visiting the Venice, then Piazza San Marco and Basilica di San Marco are two places, what you must to see certainly. There are lot of people usually everywhere but I think they are sights what you want to remember in future

    Piazza San Marco with pigeons Piazza San Marco Basilica di San Marco Basilica di San Marco and horses fresco on Basilica di San Marco

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Visit San Marco, obviously.

    by leics Updated Apr 12, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    But do, do get there early. It's a fascinating place, but you will see little of it if you are there with the hordes of visitors and tour groups which soon arrive. The basilica has many roped-off areas, so you are all herded around the same pathways.

    I was there by 9.30 (it opens at 9.45) and ther was a queue already (in early April). But it wasn't too big, and by careful standing still Imanaged to get several minutes to myself looking at the entirely wonderful 'Pala d'Oro' (golden Medieval altar screen).

    It really is worth the effort to get up and take breakfast early, and to be in the Piazza (and the queue) before the basilica opens.

    Basilica entrance: look while you are waiting!
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    The Four Horses of Saint Mark

    by wilocrek Written Apr 2, 2008

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Triumphal Quadriga or Horses of Saint Mark is a set of Roman or Greek bronze statues of four horses, originally part of a monument depicting a quadriga. The original horses were moved from the facade of the basilica in the 1980's and place inside the basilica for protection from the elements.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Venice

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

27 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Basilica di San Marco
3.5 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
0 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0 miles away
Show Prices
Show Prices

View all Venice hotels