Basilica di San Marco, Venice

4.7
#2 of 73 in Historic Sites in Venice
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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  • August 18, 2017
    You have two options. To buy electronic and dugout to enter directly, theoretically has the entrance at a specific time but not told us anything that we entered almost 1wra before, to eat HOURS in an endless queue to enter free. The cost of eisitirioy; 2 500 ...
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  • August 18, 2017
    We visited in August and the temperature was hot and the crowds were huge. I would recommend booking a skip the line tour to avoid the crowds. Everyone must have shoulders and knees covered to enter; ...  more »
  • August 18, 2017
    Basilica di San Marco is the cathedral of Venice at one side of Piazza San Marco. It has a simply amazing facade overlooking the square. Admire the fantastic architecture and intricate ornamentation o...  more »
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  • Breathtaking.

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Save money and avoid tourist crowds by booking your accommodation outside the historical center of Venice. Central Venice is full of picturesque canals and narrow lanes, but it is also extremely noisy and hectic throughout the day and late into the night. You can explore the ancient city's charms at your own pace by staying at a comfortable B&B or small hotel located in the city's residential suburbs. To stay close to the finest beaches and restaurants, check into a hotel on the island of Lido, the city's famous seaside resort.
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