The Clock Tower is an early renaissance building on the north side of the Piazza San Marco. It comprises a tower, which contains the clock, and lower buildings on each side. It adjoins the eastern end of the Procuratie Vecchie.
Both the tower and the clock date from the last decade of the 15th century, though the mechanism of the clock has subsequently been much altered. It was placed where the clock would be visible from the waters of the lagoon and give notice to everyone of the wealth and glory of Venice.
You can watch my 4 min 50 sec Video Venice in the evening out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
St Mark's Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica in the Piazza San Marco. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.
The tower is about 100 metres tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark's Square. It has a simple form, the bulk of which is a fluted brick square shaft, 12 metres wide on each side and 50 metres tall, above which is a loggia surrounding the belfry, housing five bells.
The campanile reached its present form in 1514. The current tower was reconstructed in its present form in 1912 after the collapse of 1902.
Piazza San Marco is one of the most famous squares in the world.
The Piazza is dominated at its eastern end by the great church of St Mark. Beyond that is the Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio). To the left is the long arcade along the north side of the Piazza, the buildings on this side are known as the Procuratie Vecchie, the old procuracies, formerly the homes and offices of the Procurators of St. Mark.
Turning left at the end, the arcade continues along the west end of the Piazza. Turning left again, the arcade continues down the south side of the Piazza. The buildings on this side are known as the Procuratie Nuove (new procuracies). Opposite to this, standing free in the Piazza, is the Campanile of St Mark's church.
You can watch my 5 min 03 sec Video San Marco and Palazzo Ducale out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The boat trip usually finishes at the Piazzetta di San Marco.
The Piazzetta di San Marco is an adjoining open space connecting the south side of the Piazza di San Marco to the waterway of the lagoon. The Piazzetta lies between the Doge's Palace on the east and Jacopo Sansovino's Libreria which holds the Biblioteca Marciana on the west.
This is the place to be in Venice. To see the Basilica of St. Mark, the Grand canal, go on a gondola ride, eat at the many restaurants, see the many monuments, people watch, meet other travelers, dine with the locals and quite simply enjoy the work of art that the entire Square is made of.
There are thousands of pigeons to see, you can not feed them though, we found out feeding them was outlawed only the year before we were there (1997)
The Bell tower in Piazza San Marco stands by the front of the basilica.
The present structure reached its look in 1514 though it was reconstructed in 1912 following the earlier collapse. The problem is that the tower, like all the other old buildings in Venice, is built on soft ground on wooden foundations. Over time, the structure becomes unstable because of this and starts to lean. So renovation becomes a constant need.
There are five bells, each with a special purpose.
"The Renghiera (or the Maleficio) announced executions; the Mezza Terza proclaimed a session of the Senate; the Nona sounded midday; the Trottiera called the members of the Maggior Consiglio to council meetings and the Marangona, the biggest, rang to mark the beginning and ending of working day. They are tuned in the scale of A." (source wikipedia)
More than anything else, the belltower is one of the landmarks of Venice, known throughout the world.
At the top of the 97 meter belltower is a golden statue of the Archangel Gabriel. This statue is 3 meters, and when the wind is blowing it rotates the statue. Venetians say that when the statue of the Archangel is facing the Basilica, there will be high water.
height- 98 meters (323 feet)
width- 12 meters (39 feet)
Wait for a nice evening and go to San Marco and take a seat at the Cafe Florian and have a drink.
It will be more expensive than a small osteria but the experience is grand and worth it as a life experience.
It will cost a few euros just to sit down so do not freak out. The quality of the drinks we had was excellent and the service has to be seen to be believed. It is like being waited on by models with excellent training.
I loved how well ALL the patrons were treated. It did not matter if you were a tourist on their only trip to Venice or a well heeled "jetset" type. The staff treated everyone very well.
Sitting at a table sipping a drink in San Marco while listening to the orchestra is an experience that should not be missed. Scrimp and save on other things but not this.
Summer or winter, under the sun or heavy rain, even when flooded by "aqua alta", this splendid square is always filled with people and pigeons.
The harmony of the buildings give intimacy to the large square, and the monuments share the space with heavy commerce.
It allows a strong sensation of dipping in history, only broke by the noise and movements of the crowds.
Found in the North East corner of Piazza San Marco by the North wall of Basilica San Marco is the Piazzetta dei Leoncini although now officially called the Piazzetta Giovanni XXIII. Clearly the more well known name refers to the two marble lions here which I've discovered were presented by Doge Alvise Mocenigo in 1722 but I haven't discovered what, if any, purpose this little area once served. These little felines are quite charming though.
St Mark's Basilica is full of stuff which Venice plundered from Constantinople and along with all this swag came these two massive granite columns. It is said that they were erected here in Venice in 1172 by the engineer Nicolo Barattieri who was also the architect of the very first Rialto Bridge. As a reward he was given the right to set up gambling tables between the two columns.
A somewhat more grizzly aspect of the history is that criminals used to be executed here until the mid 18th century and even today some superstitious locals won't walk between the columns.
The Western column (furthest from the Doge's Palace) is topped with a statue of St Theodore who was the original patron saint of Venice before the Venetian's pinched the remains alledged to be of St Mark from Alexandria and whisked them back here in 828.
The other column is topped by the Lion of St Mark which will become a familiar sight in Venice as it is the symbol of the city used for centuries.
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