Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.6
#2 of 190 in Historic Sites in Venice
Must see · Architectural Building · Landmark
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
28,570 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The inside was closed for renovation when we were in Venice so we did not visit the inside (you can go in to see4 the museum however). The outside architecture is as beautiful as ever.  more »
  • Close to the piazza we can see the basilica also. I wasn’t able to go in but it was already enough to see the very beautiful external architecture!  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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