The Beauty of Saint Mark’s Basilica

It started with an international robbery, and resulted in a magnificent landmark.

Saint Mark’s Basilica, officially known as Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is located in the heart of Venice in Piazza San Marco. The original Saint Marks was ordered built by the doge (prince) of Venice in 829. Conspiring Venetian merchants smuggled out the relics of Saint Mark from Alexandria Egypt. The fable is they hid the relics in barrels of pork to avoid detection by the Muslim military. The relics were placed in Saint Marks. The original basilica was destroyed, but its current design dates to 1063. Since 1807 it plays the role as the official seat of the Patriarch of Venice.

Venice is inundated with approximately 20 million tourists a year. So after you snap pictures of the Rialto Bridge, cruise the Grand Canal, and devour more tiramisu, how can you capture a unique experience?  Walks of Italy provided an answer for me.

Venice sunset

While thousands of tourists traipse through Saint Mark’s Basilica every day, I was afforded the opportunity of spending time in the Basilica at night. With only 13 other people.

Golden, gilded mosaics dance across 8,000 square meters of vaults and cupolas. These mosaics mostly date back to the 12th century. The mosaics trace the stories of the New Testament.  Too many landmarks in Venice are nearly spoiled with throngs of visitors, this visit was a unique experience.  As I entered the side door, I was immediately greeted with the scintillating mosaics.  I strolled in silence marveling at the towering peaks of the interior.

mosaic

st mark's mosaic

I entered the main, cavernous cathedral.  My eyes scanned the vast room.

Venice Saint Mark's

Saint Mark's Venice

Saint MArk's Venice

I walked to the elevated alter.  Over the high altar is an 11th century ceremonial canopy. The altarpiece is the well-known Pala d’Oro. It is a gold panel gold embedded with gems. This masterpiece is comprised of 1,300 pearls, 300 emeralds, 300 sapphires, and 400 garnets.

Saint Mark's Basilica

If you like St Marks, check out the pictures from the Vatican.

This experience was provided gratis by Walks of Italy (just click above!). All opinions expressed are mine.  If you book at tour with WOI I will earn a small commission.

chernobyl exclusion zone

Photos From Chernobyl

Sign up to receive your free copy of Photos From Chernobyl.  Over 100 photos from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

(192 Posts)

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Saint Mark’s Basilica

  1. Pingback: A Year In Review: 2015 - GlobalGazGlobalGaz

  2. Frank

    That’s pretty cool that you were able to have that experience! Can’t imagine seeing it without a million people around you.
    We were in Venice today and marveled at Saint Mark’s. We’ve been here before and took the tour. But today was just a visit from our base in Padova and we just wanted to see the city again without visiting all the museums. It’s beautiful. But packed, I don’t know how many people were in line to get in to the basilica.
    Nice pics!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *