St. Mark’s Basilica is arguably the most famous attraction in Venice today due to its intricate structure that takes you back to the Renaissance period. The Byzantine architecture and the stellar collection of mosaics and artwork from renowned European artists make St. Mark’s Basilica a must-visit attraction in Venice.
If the architecture does not convince you to visit St. Mark’s Basilica, the assortment of art collections and relics inside the church will. The cathedral is home to the precious relic of St. Marks that was transported to Venice from Alexandria. You’ll also get to see mosaic art inside this magnificent 9th-century building inspired by the age it was created in - the Byzantine Era. It was only after the Renaissance period that a range of artwork from Italian artists was introduced to the attraction.
St.Mark’s Basilica has a treasure trove of some of the best mosaic artwork, depicting events from the Byzantine Empire, the journey of Jesus Christ, as well as figures of Christian saints, the Old Testament, and many such historic events from the past.
Read on to know more about the crowned jewels and the must-see artworks and highlights at St.Mark’s Basilica.
Artist: The Pala d’ Oro cannot be attributed to a single artist or a person.
Year: 10th century
Location: You can find the Pala d’ Oro behind the high altar of St. Mark’s Basilica which is located at the eastern end of the structure.
The Pala d’ Oro has a complex history stitched to it as the altarpiece was built over several centuries by a host of Byzantine craftsmen and artists. The iconic central piece that features the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus is believed to have been constructed in the 10th century during the Byzantine era. Over the subsequent years, a plethora of elements were added to the central piece including gemstones, gold, and more.
Artist: Not applicable
Year: Not applicable
Location: The dazzling and twinkling treasures can be found in the side wing of St. Mark’s Basilica.
The treasure was amassed mainly from The Fourth Crusade or the attack on Constantinople by the Vatican. Today, only 283 items are on display and the collection is divided into four main sections including ancient, medieval, Byzantine, and western.
Artist: The St.Mark’s tomb was constructed by multiple Venetian craftsmen
Year: 9th century
Location: St. Mark’s tomb is located under the main altar of the cathedral.
St.Mark's tomb is the burial site of Saint Mark - one of the four Evangelists of Christianity. It was considered to be a powerful source of power and pride for Venice back in the day due to the drama attached to it pertaining to how St. Mark's body was carried to Venice from Alexandria, Egypt. You can see the tomb, beautifully decorated with bronze and marble statues, making it a top highlight of St.Mark's Basilica.
Built by: Venetian Republic
Location: The St.Mark’s Museum is located inside the St.Mark’s Basilica’s complex
The St.Mark’s Museum, which is also known as the Museo di San Marco in Italian is home to a range of artifacts and artwork that were mainly plundered from Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. St.Mark’s Museum is divided into multiple sections that lay down the history and artistry of the basilicas’ rich history. One of the highlights is The Horses of St.Marks, a collection of four horses made from bronze that was originally a part of a larger collection. The Quadriga of St. Mark originally sat atop the basilica. There are also Gothic and Byzantine manuscripts, artifacts, and liturgical objects at the Museo di San Marco.
Commissioned by: Doge Dominico Contarini
Year: Built between the 11th and 15th century
Location: The marble inlays can be found throughout the interior of the church
Another top highlight of St.Mark's Basilica are the intricately carved marble, often considered the best examples of Byzantine architecture. A testament to the creativity, artistry, and craftsmanship of artisans from the Byzantine era, they tell stories of the age they were created in.
The St. Mark’s Basilica was built in the 11th century between 1063 and 1092.
Yes, you can book tickets to visit St.Mark’s Basilica online.
St. Mark’s Basilica is located in Venice, Italy.
Visitors can find different styles of architecture including Gothic, Roman, and Byzantine at St. Mark’s Basilica.
The St. Mark’s Basilica is open throughout the year for visitors between 9:30 AM and 5:15 PM. Kindly note that the opening hours on Sundays and public holidays are from 2 PM until 5:15 PM.
Yes, St. Mark’s Basilica is worth visiting due to several factors including the unique and mesmerising Byzantine architecture and artwork. Besides, a visit to St. Mark’s Basilica is an absolute must if you are interested in history, architecture, and art.
St. Mark’s Basilica was a symbol of the strength and power of Venice, particularly in the middle ages.
The main attractions or highlights of St. Mark’s Basilica include Pala d’ Oro, marble inlays, Museo di San Marco, a collection of the treasury, and the diverse and unique architecture of the cathedral.
Yes, there is a dress code visitors need to adhere to before they enter St. Mark’s Basilica. All visitors should modestly and cover their shoulders and knees.
You should spend at least an hour at St.Mark’s Basilica if you want to learn about its history, artwork, and architecture.
Photography is not permitted inside St. Mark’s Basilica.
All areas of St.Mark’s Basilica are not wheelchair accessible.