Oh, San Marco Basilica what an incredible beauty… and it’s even more enjoyable to visit if you purchase a skip-the-queue ticket -as I personally did- to skip the never-ending queue, always present and solid right outside the Basilica. I finally had the chance to visit it last week: I let myself be enchanted by its glorious mosaic works, its marble aisles, finding out about several historical and artistic hints of such a monument which has not lost its own charm yet.
San Marco Basilica: some historical hints
Known as ‘Basilica marciana’, it is out of question that it is one of the symbols of Venice. It was built on top of other previous monuments’ ruins where –following the legend- Saint Mark encountered an angel pointing at his future burial place.
Perhaps you don’t know that what is the most important symbol of Venice today, it’s actually been the third church to be built on the same spot. The first one was built in the IX century with the idea of receiving Saint Mark’s mortal remains, but then completely burned down by a fire just before the year 1000. The second one, instead, was demolished in the XI century to make way for the actual Basilica, the one the Doge wanted to erect as a symbol of the Venetian Republic’s power. What about the third one? Well, you can stare at it with your own eyes!
San Marco Basilica: some artistic hints to enjoy it at its best
As a Byzantine art masterpiece, San Marco has a Greek cross interior layout, with a bigger central dome, and four smaller ones. Some beautiful mosaic works, representing scenes of both old traditions and some episodes described in the Old Testament, cover the interior walls and the outside facade. Five majestic arches sustain the balcony from where you can enjoy a wonderful and unforgettable view of San Marco square.
Once I reached the high altar, I had the chance to stare in amazement in front of the famous Pala d’Oro, a perfect example of Byzantine art with its thousand gems and precious stones. It’s been an enchanting visit and a comfortable one too, thanks to the ticket which allowed me to take on my own personal tour without any stress. I strongly advise you to do the same!
For more info: http://www.basilicasanmarco.it/?lang=en
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