Visiting St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice | St. Mark's Basilica

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St. Mark's Basilica St. Mark’s Campanile

What’s the St. Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark's Campanile, a bell tower in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, was originally built in the 12th century as a lighthouse, but has since been rebuilt several times due to various calamities. The current structure, standing at 98.6 meters, was completed in 1912 and is the perfect spot to get views of Venice.

Why Visit St. Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark’s Campanile
  • Incredible views: St. Mark’s Campanile offers you a birds-eye view of Venice and the network of canals, lagoons and of course, unique architecture. On a clear day, you can even see the Alps in the distance! 
  • History meets astronomy: From an 11th century watchtower to a lighthouse, and now finally, a bell tower, it is loaded with history. It was also the site of Galileo Galilei's first publicly demonstrated the telescope in 1609.
  • Popular photography spot: St. Mark's Campanile’s distinctive onion shape make it a popular place for photography and sightseeing. It also has St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, in the background, which makes for great photographs.

Quick Facts About St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile
  • Location: P.za San Marco, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy
  • Construction Date: 12th century
  • Architect: Unknown
  • Height: 98.6 meters
  • Materials Used: Marbles and stones
  • No. of Steps to the Top: 323 steps

Plan Your Visit to St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile opening hours
St. Mark’s Campanile best time to visit

Best Time to Visit

Visit St. Mark’s Campanile as soon as it opens, or late afternoon to avoid crowds. The low season, which starts from November to March, is an excellent time to visit for a peaceful visit.

St. Mark’s Campanile loacted

Highlights of St. Mark’s Campanile

View of Venice from St Mark's Campanile

View from the Top

Thanks to its 98.6 meters (323 feet) height, St. Mark’s Campanile offers stunning views of Venice. You’ll see the surrounding lagoon with its ships, distant islands like Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore, and the nearby Piazza San Marco square. Visit in the spring for better views with clear skies.

St Mark bell tower

Venetian Gothic Architecture

St. Mark's Campanile is an iconic symbol of Venice due to its history and excellent architecture. The bell tower was inspired by Eastern and Western influences, characterized by elegant lancet arches, intricate tracery, and ornate stone carvings. Its top is capped by a pyramidal spire with a gold weathervane in the shape of an angel, serving as a symbol of the city's patron saint, St. Mark, at its peak.

Marangona Bell

Bells and Bellringers

St. Mark’s Campanile is a bell tower with several bells worth exploring. The landmark has five bells having unique sounds and purposes. Marangona is the largest bell rung at the beginning and end of the workday in Venice. Nona is rung to note the ninth hour of the day, while Trottiera is rung when races are held in Piazza San Marco. Mezza Terza, the fourth bell, is rung during the third hour of the day, whereas Renghiera is used to notify city council members of meetings. The bell ringers have exceptional skill and perform at concerts for guests. It’s not as easy as you might think!

Trottiera bell venice

Belfry

The Belfry is located at the top of St. Mark’s Campanile. It has the five bells of the tower—Marangona, Nona, Trottiera, Mezza Terza, and Renghiera—each with its unique sound and purpose. The bells are present in the belfry's open-air structure. As a result, the sounds are audible throughout the city. It is also an excellent lookout point, offering panoramic views of the city and its surrounding islands. You can access it via a lift or stairs.

Spire Campanile tower

Spire

The spire is a distinctive feature of St. Mark's Campanile. It is a pyramidal structure made of brick and stone, covered with lead plates, and topped with a golden weathervane in the shape of an angel representing St. Mark. It is visible from several parts of Venice and serves as a beacon for visitors through the canals of Venice.

entrance of Campanile di San Marco

Logetta

Logetta is located at the base of St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice. Designed by Jacopo Sansovino in the 16th century, it served as the meeting place for the city’s leaders. The structure has intricate carvings and decorations, including statues and bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Venetian history. You’ll also find a marble staircase leading to the top of the Campanile.

History of St. Mark’s Bell Tower

Restoration and Preservation

Built in the 12th century, St. Mark's Campanile got its current form in the 16th century. The Belfry and spire were added along with a rotating platform having a statue of Archangel Gabriel.

Centuries later, on 14 July 1902, the tower collapsed because of construction work. The Municipal Administration vowed to rebuild the Campanile to its former glory, with work starting on 25 April 1903 and finishing nine years later. The rebuilt tower with more safety features and static stability was inaugurated on St. Mark’s day.

Many parts of the tower were reintegrated, including two sides of the dado above the belfry, the two moving Lions in Istria stone, and the embossed copper statue of the Archangel Gabriel.

Influence of the St. Mark’s Campanile

St. Mark’s Campanile’s unique construction has influenced several towers and buildings in Europe and beyond. Its distinctive Venetian Gothic style architecture, decorations, and statues have inspired the following structures:

  • Clock Tower in Prague, Czech Republic — This structure features an astronomical clock and Gothic architecture like St. Mark’s Campanile.
  • Bell Tower of the Church of the Holy Cross – This bell tower in Karlskrona, Sweden, was built in the early 18th century, and it is also modeled after the campanile. It stands as a reminder of the city's history as a major naval base.
  • Belfry of Bruges, Belgium—It features Gothic-style architecture and decorative elements like St. Mark’s Campanile.
  • Central Tower of Oxford University's Bodleian Library—This structure was modeled after St. Mark's Campanile and features a similar spire.
  • Bell tower of the Old Town Hall in Munich, Germany—Inspired by St. Mark's Campanile, this attraction features similar Gothic elements and a decorative spire.

Several churches and cathedrals worldwide, including the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, are influenced by St. Mark’s Campanile.

Visiting the St. Mark’s Campanile

You can purchase St. Mark’s Campanile tickets online as well as offline. Buying tickets online is the better option as it offers convenience and may provide discounts and deals.

Online tickets also offer skip-the-line services seven months a year (from 1 April to 2 November). You can make online reservations up to 10 minutes before visiting time. Entry is free for children up to five years, while concessions are reserved for school and religious groups.

Frequently Asked Questions About St.Mark’s Campanile

What is St.Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark's Campanile is an iconic bell tower in St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy. It stands 98.6 meters tall and features a distinctive Venetian Gothic style with ornate decorations.

Where can I buy tickets to St. Mark’s Campanile?

You can buy tickets to St. Mark’s Campanile online as well as offline. Online tickets are the best option as you can book months in advance and get discounts and deals.

Do I need tickets to view the St. Mark’s Campanile?

Yes. You need tickets to view the St. Mark’s Campanile. You must show your tickets at the entrance, while foreign nationals must also display their passport and visa details at the time of entry.

Can I visit St. Mark’s Campanile with St. Mark’s Basilica tickets?

Yes. You can visit St. Mark’s Campanile using St. Mark’s Basilica tickets.

Can I go to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile?

Yes. You can go to the top of St. Mark’s Campanile. It offers amazing views of Venice and surrounding islands like Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore.

Who designed the St. Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark's Campanile in Venice, Italy was designed by architect Giorgio Spavento in the 16th century.

When was St. Mark’s Campanile built?

St. Mark’s Campanile was built in the 12th century but was restored and reconstructed several times after.

What materials were used to build St. Mark’s Campanile?

Marbles and stones were used to build St. Mark’s Campanile.

What is the significance of the bells in St. Mark's Campanile?

St. Mark’s Campanile's bells serve a unique function and produce different sounds. There are five bells—Marangona, Nona, Trottiera, Mezza Terza, and Renghiera. Marangona is the largest bell rung at the beginning and end of the workday, Nona is rung to note the ninth hour of the day, and Trottiera when races are held in Piazza San Marco. Mezza Terza, the fourth bell, is hit during the third hour of the day, whereas Renghiera is rung to notify city council members of meetings.

What is the Logetta?

Logetta is a small structure at the base of St. Mark’s Campanile. It was designed by Jacopo Sansovino in the 16th century and served as the meeting place for the city’s leaders.

How tall is St. Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark’s Campanile is 98.6 meters (323 feet) tall.

Where is the St. Mark’s Campanile?

St. Mark’s Campanile is located on Saint Mark's Square, near St. Mark's Basilica and Grand Canal.

What are the St. Mark’s Campanile timings?

St Mark’s Campanile is open daily from 9:30 AM to 9:15 PM. The tower is closed for entry 15 minutes before it closes for the day.

What view can you see from the top of St. Mark’s Campanile?

You can catch fantastic views of Venice, far off lagoon with its ships, distant islands like Giudecca and San Giorgio Maggiore, and the nearby Piazza San Marco square.

Are there any restrictions on who can climb St. Mark’s Campanile?

No. There are no restrictions on who can climb the St. Mark’s Campanile. There is also a lift for people who cannot climb.

Is St. Mark's Campanile accessible to people with disabilities?

Unfortunately, St. Mark’s Campanile is not accessible to people with disabilities. The entrance is narrow, while the steps to the top of the tower are steep.

Is photography allowed at St. Mark's Campanile?

Yes. Photography is allowed at St. Mark’s Campanile. However, avoid using flash and be careful when using your camera at the top of the bell tower.