Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.4
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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Basilica di San Marco Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
26,947 reviews
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  • Our visit to San Marco Basilica was great! I highly encourage you to pay the 3 euros to get the skip the line pass. We walked right in. There is an additional 2 euro charge to see the gold altar- whic...  more »
  • There is a line as it gets really crowded and you can't carry in a backpack. Check the times, they close during the day for a few hours. It's worth the walk just to see the square and admire it from t...  more »
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