Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Veneto  /  Province of Venice  /  City of Venice  /  Venice  /  Sightseeing  /  Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco, Venice

(19,000+ reviews on the web)
Architectural Building
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. Use our Venice trip itinerary planner to visit Basilica di San Marco on your trip to Venice, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Lovely inside, well worth the visit inside. I read up a lot about long queues to visit here but we visited during Venice Carnival and only queued up for 20-30 seconds!  more »
  • We also witnessed the end of Palm Sunday mass. What can I say, follow the mass in this church is really an emotion. The Interior is great and especially sculptures fill the space with elegance.
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  • Don't hesitate in front of the queue, it goes pretty quickly. Then be dazzled to leave speechless.
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Google
  • Breathtaking.