St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice (photo)

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St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice (photo)
St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice (photo)

Beautiful Venice has inspired many artists, poets, musicians to create world-famous works. This is not surprising. The city, in which magnificent nature is harmoniously connected with exquisite architecture and a long history, will not leave anyone indifferent. Here, every building is a landmark, but in this article we will introduce you to a magnificent building - St. Mark's Cathedral.


In Venice, everywhere you can find many monuments dedicated to the evangelist Mark, who has long been considered the heavenly patron of the city. The first chapel dedicated to the apostle appeared in the city as early as 829. Its main shrine was the relics of St. A stamp that Venetian sailors stole from Alexandria.

st mark's cathedral

When the Venetians saw that Muslims were barbarously destroying Christian churches and building mosques in their place, they decided to protect the evangelist's relics from desecration. As the saying goesan ancient legend, in order to transport a priceless relic on a ship, the merchants went to the trick - they laid the relics of the saint with pork carcasses, and the customs officers were told that they were transporting pork. The Saracens, who preach Islam, did not dare to touch the unclean animal and did not check the cargo. St. Mark's Basilica was burned down in 976 during a popular uprising. At the same time, the Venetian ruler Pietro IV Candiano was overthrown from the throne.

Temple History

Saint Mark's Cathedral, whose history began in 1063, strikes the imagination not only of ordinary tourists. They are admired and still continue to be studied by specialists in the field of architecture. Looking at his image, many are wondering in which city St. Mark's Cathedral is located. Of course, in ancient Venice (Italy).

st mark's cathedral venice

In 1071, when the cathedral had not yet been completed, a new ruler of the city, Domenico Selvo, was installed in it. It was under him (1071-1084) that the first cycle of making the mosaic decoration of the cathedral began. The temple was consecrated in 1094 under Vital Faliera. This ruler (doge) was buried in one of the galleries, where the narthex of the temple is today.

St. Mark's Cathedral, the photo of which you can see in this article, was built quite quickly - within thirty years. But over the next five hundred years, it was constantly expanded and decorated.

The Venetians had fears that the Alexandrians would find out about the theft of the relic, so they decided to announce a “miracle” of the appearance of the remains. An ancient legend says that the inhabitantsThe city was ordered to pray and fast so that the Lord would help find the relics of Mark. And once God "heard" the prayers of the townspeople - during one of the services, a marble slab fell off the column, and the parishioners saw the hand of the saint in the hole. There was no doubt - a "miracle" helped to find the relics.

Palace Chapel

For a long time, St. Mark's Basilica (Venice) was a palace chapel. Rulers (doji) were crowned in this temple, and here they found their last refuge. In the temple, the army was blessed for victory in the crusades. Here the captains who went on a long voyage received a blessing.

, St. Mark's Campanile

In these ancient walls, the emperor of Rome - Frederick I Barbarossa - made a long-awaited peace with Alexander III. Not a single city celebration could do without a solemn mass in this basilica. On the square in front of the temple, the famous Venetian carnivals were noisy and continue to be noisy today, as well as other festive events.

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice: Architecture

It is unlikely that anyone will dispute the statement that this temple is one of the most interesting and striking sights of the city. The huge majestic building attracts tourists from all over the world. Why is St. Mark's Basilica so attractive? To be under its vaults, according to parishioners, is a great happiness. The monumentality of the structure strengthens faith and purifies the soul.

But one cannot but mention the architectural features of the unique building. St. Mark's Cathedral, the description of which can be found in all guidebooksin Venice, has five entrances. Each of them has a sculpture and columns in two tiers. Magnificent mosaic compositions above the entrances demonstrate the events associated with the theft of the saint's relics and their appearance in Venice.

st mark's cathedral description

The five-domed cross-domed Cathedral of St. Mark was created on the model of the Church of the Apostles in Constantinople. As we have already mentioned, the temple was expanded and decorated for the next five centuries. Work on facing the facade of the cathedral with marble began in 1159. In the 12th century, mosaics appeared on the central domes and vaults. Baptiserie and Chapel of St. Isidore were added in 1354. The Mascoli Chapel appeared in the 15th century, as did the sacristy. In the next, the 16th century, a Zen chapel appeared. The decoration of the temple was completely completed at the end of the 15th century. This confirms the image of him in the painting by G. Bellini.

Specialists note the obvious heterogeneity of the architectural styles of the square in front of the temple. St. Mark's Cathedral is its architectural dominant. The author of the project of the magnificent building was an unknown Greek architect, who put the Byzantine cross as the basis of the structure, and it is crowned with four domes-ends, the fifth is the base.

Above the main entrances to the cathedral you can see arches with amazing mosaics. Above the main entrance, such a panel depicts scenes from the Last Judgment. On the roof there is a copy of the four horses made of bronze. Such a sculpture was brought from Constantinople (1204) as a war trophy.

Relics of the Cathedral

Most of the temple's ancient relics ended up hereafter the fall of Constantinople. These primarily include the quadriga, located on the western facade. This is a copy, and its original is kept in the museum of the temple. In addition, this is a unique "golden altar" made by excellent Byzantine craftsmen, the icon "Madonna Nicopeia".

st mark's cathedral in venice opening hours

Interior decoration

St. Mark's Cathedral (Venice) amazes everyone who falls under its vaults with an abundance of colored marble, mosaics on biblical scenes. They occupy a huge area - more than four thousand square meters. Amazing fragments of multi-colored glass are laid out on the thinnest sheets of gold. Cancer with the relics of St. The stamp is kept under the sparkling gems and the golden throne of the main altar. A “golden altar” is installed above it - a special iconostasis, which was completed by Byzantine craftsmen in 1343 by order of the Venetians.

The gothic frame made of gilded silver consists of 250 enamel miniatures, inlaid with 2000 semi-precious and precious stones. On the altar you can see scenes from the New Testament and the life of the Apostle Mark. Because of the huge amount of gold, the cathedral is sometimes called the "golden basilica".

st mark's cathedral in venice architecture

Today, St. Mark's Cathedral is a functioning temple. Daily services are held in the Chapel of St. Isidore. There are always a lot of not only parishioners, but also guests of the city at the services. Every day you can visit St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. The opening hours of the temple are very convenient for visiting - from 9:45 to 16:00. In addition to relics,The relics of the temple include: the icon of the Virgin of Nicopeia and the relics of the martyr Isidore. That is why Christian pilgrims from all over the world constantly come here.

St. Mark's Campanile (Venice)

This is the name of the bell tower of the temple. It is an integral part of the cathedral. It is located on the main square of the city. From here you can see the whole of Venice, as the structure is 99 meters high, it is the tallest in Venice.

Historical background

In the 8th century there was a clock tower here. It burned down in a fire that arose after a lightning strike. In 1514, a bell tower appeared in the city, which can be seen today. The construction was initiated by Admiral Grimani. It was necessary for him to win the trust of the townspeople and local officials, since before that he had not completed the task assigned to him, in connection with which he could be convicted. Today we can say with certainty that the Campanile of St. Mark's Cathedral was built at the expense of Grimani.

st mark's basilica campanile venice

This building was a beacon for sailors and a watchtower. From here you have a great view of the surrounding area. At the same time, it was also a place of punishment for church ministers who were seen in same-sex relationships. They were put in special cages and hung from the tower.


St. Mark's Campanile had five bells, and each of them performed its own task. The largest of them sounded only in the morning, informing the residents that the day had already begun.

In 1902, the campanile cracked along one wall and collapsed. Luckily,no harm done. After 10 years (1912) the tower was restored.

st mark's cathedral to be

The facade of the loggia consists of three arches, decorated with side columns. Between them in the niches are bronze statues of Mercury, Minerva, Apollo. During the reconstruction of 1912, the side facades, which were originally made of brick, were faced with marble.

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