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Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.6
#2 of 1,218 in Historic Sites in Veneto
Must see · Architectural Building · Landmark
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Renowned worldwide for its priceless treasures, Basilica di San Marco is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in Italy. Originally a private chapel for the doges, the city's chief magistrates, this building has been a cathedral only since 1807. Because of its opulent design, gold dome mosaics, and its status as a symbol of the city's wealth and power, the cathedral has been nicknamed the Church of Gold since the 11th century. The interior is based on a Greek cross, with iconic Byzantine onion-bulb domes and Egyptian marble walls. Behind the main altar, containing the sarcophagus of St. Mark, an altarpiece is adorned with hundreds of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, pearls, and amethysts. The front of the building is rippled with five niched portals, each capped with more elaborate mosaics and stone arches. The church also contains a museum, displaying bronze horses brought here in 1204 as part of the loot from Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade. You can enter the church for free, but the museum has an admission fee. Put Basilica di San Marco at the forefront of your travel plans using our Venice visit planning site.
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Basilica di San Marco reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
28,900 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Pay for entry, pay for a sight of the religious area at the back of the basilica and then pay for entry to the 2nd floor and the museum. I woulnd't mind but it is 7 euros a time and when you have... 
    Pay for entry, pay for a sight of the religious area at the back of the basilica and then pay for entry to the 2nd floor and the museum. I woulnd't mind but it is 7 euros a time and when you have...  more »
  • The Basilica was crowded but I avoided long line for entry by having my hotel order me a timed entry ticket. The church is quite beautiful and a must see! 
    The Basilica was crowded but I avoided long line for entry by having my hotel order me a timed entry ticket. The church is quite beautiful and a must see!  more »
Google
  • One of the popular place in Venice!!! The largest square in Venice. It’s a very crowded tourist attraction but still I loved being here. The popular St. Mark’s Basilica and the very iconic bell tower stand in this place. The other dominant building here is the Doge’s Palace. All the buildings are very pretty. You need to stand in the middle of this square to really get the feel of the wonderful architecture around you. It’s a very lively and happy place (at least that’s the way I felt being here). Full of activity, iconic buildings and cheerful tourists. It’s a great place to spend a few hours. There are quite a lot of restaurants, cafes and shops here which are nice but expensive (as is the case near any main tourist attraction).
  • St Marks square is one of the most happening places in Venice. This was one of our last destinations in our Europe tour. It was calming and relaxing to wind up our vacation. They have some wonderful seafood places near by. This basilica is one of the oldest 9th century AD architecture. The mosaics glow different shades at different times of the day. The reason is they are made of actual gold. One interesting fact about the basilica is the outer dome that you see from outside is not real. Since Venice cannot build massive structures they constructed a light weight lead composite dome to give the grand visuals. Once you step inside you will notice the roof to be much lower. Right after we left Venice there was a major flood which flooded the whole square including the inside of the church. You should never miss this one if you are in Venice.

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