Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.6
#2 of 188 in Historic Sites in Venice
Must see · Architectural Building · Church
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
28,607 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It's such a beautiful building with so many beautiful details, so much so, that it can be a bit overwhelming. Mesmerizing.  more »
  • I enjoy strolling through this beautiful historic side. I thought the place was busy but talking to locals we realized that after COVID and since the EU has not been open long, the place actually...  more »
Google
  • The Basilica is one of the most popular sights in Venice, basilica from outside and inside is amazing. It's 2 minute walk from Saint Mark's Square. It's a must watch if you ever visit Venice. Visited this place few years back and came across many people dressed up and wearing mask which was amazing to see. Hope to visit this historical beauty again in near future.
  • Very interesting church with rich exterior. Fascinating story about horses that are positioned above the main entrance and do not fit into the whole image of the church. They have a history much longer than the church and were brought to Venice by sea from far away countries.
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