Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.4
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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
28,496 reviews
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  • After a nice lunch in the Piazza, we took a tour of San Marco Basilica, the main cathedral in Venice. Nicely, for the engineer in me, it was undergoing renovations and had multiple displays of how...  more »
  • It’s the tourist must-do in Venice and, despite the grumpy staff, and the current renovations, it is a beautiful cathedral. Just the gold mosaics as they catch the setting sun are one of the greatest....  more »

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