Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.4
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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23,258 reviews
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  • In my first trip to Venice was a must. It can be said that together with the channels the Basilica di San Marco (the Esplanade) represent in world ... visit ... It is a unique experience! ...
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  • The inside of the basilica is magnificent. Take a look at the ceilings and you'll know what I mean. I highly suggest stopping by for mass on Sundays at 6:45 pm. It's the only time that the church is l...  more »
  • Be there early or late so you skip the long lines, ther is a couple areas that you have to pay but personally it doesn't worth it. Read about the church before you go so you find it more attractive an...  more »

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