St Marks Basilica Venice
One of the world-renowned architectural wonders of Venice rests in St. Mark’s square, among many other beautiful structures. If you’re going on a trip to this beautiful city, you should definitely set aside time to enter the great St. Mark’s Basilica.
You can’t miss it, it’s huge! Right beside The Doges Palace Venice in St Mark’s square, it’s a majestic structure that captures your attention not just because of its size but also because of its style.
If you’re interested in architecture, then you might like to know that St Mark's Basilica has been called the world’s best example for Byzantine architecture. You can see clearly from the exterior of the cathedral that it is not of a typical western style. Instead, it incorporates both eastern and western influences.
When you get close to the cathedral, you might notice that it actually looks kind of eclectic. This isn’t a lapse in style or some accident—it actually looks like that because many parts of the cathedral were originally from all around the world. The cathedral stood as a reminder of the greatness and power of Venice. And of course, they didn’t want the world to forget their numerous conquests so they displayed reminders of them for all the world to see. Some of the statues of people like the Tetrarchs, and the horses of St. Mark—all the way down to some pillars—were actually loot that was taken from various conquests around the world. Venetian vessels would always bring a little piece of the other side of the world with them to add to the cathedral upon returning from their journeys.
It is said that St. Mark personally went to Venice to spread Christianity, so it comes as no surprise that they named him their patron saint and built a cathedral in his honor. They even adapted St. Mark’s symbol, the winged lion, as the symbol for Venice. When Venetian merchants stole the remains of St. Mark from Alexandria in 828, the doge ordered the cathedral to be built. At first, it wasn’t a cathedral though. It was just the doge’s chapel, but it was later named the city’s cathedral in 1807 after it was reconstructed many times and turned into a beauty.
Now, as much as you might like to sit outside and marvel at its exterior, you have to take a look at what’s inside too. It will take your breath away.
As you can see, the church isn’t nicknamed “Chiesa d’Oro” for nothing. Translated, this means “church of gold”. Inside, you’ll see breathtaking mosaics made entirely of gold. When you look at the ceiling, you’ll see the creation dome, which depicts the story of Genesis. And of course, by the golden altar, you will see the relics of St. Mark.
There is no entrance fee to visit the basilica, which is open from 9:45am to 5:00pm from Monday until Saturday. On Sundays and holidays, it is open from 2:00om until 4:00pm. So what are you waiting for? This surely isn't something you'd want to miss!