Biggest byzantine mosaic in Italy, San Marco's Basilica
Byzantium influences to the West, The Saint-Mark's basilica is a jewel of Venetian art.
History of the Basilic.
The Greek cross plan stands on a structure which in the longitudinal nave has basilica architectural motifs: the vertical arm of the cross is greater than those of the transepts and the altar is in the apse area. Above the cross are five cupolas, according to the eastern model, as a symbol of God’s presence.
Organization of the space is rich in evocations that are not found in other Byzantine churches. The interior has a unitary sequence subdivided into individual spatial orchestrations to which gold background mosaics ensure continuity and the church’s special way of being.
And its mosaics...
The first images that come to the minds of many people are those of the mosaics and their golden backgrounds.More than 8000 square metres of mosaic cover the walls and cupolas of the Basilica.
Essentially Byzantine in its architecture, the Basilica finds in the mosaics its natural integrating element. The mosaic decorations were developed through some 8 centuries of the Basilica’s history.
Old and New Testaments, allegorical figures and geometrical designs for the floor, the mosaics, with their warm colours, particularly gold, decorate the ample spaces of the Basilica. As in Middle-Eastern churches, the interaction of the decoration with a dim, but ever changing light, according to the time of day, creates a range of evocative and intense effects.
In the Basilica’s mosaics can be found the most significant evidence of Venice’s history, the ambitions, faith, languages and trends.
A never ending amazement...
- Have decent clothes to get in.
- Leave your bag at the deposit, before starting the queue
- Visit the museum at the first floor of the Basilica to see a part of the mosaics closer.
- On Sunday mornings, all the Basilica is illuminated inside
- Don't picnic in Venice. It is not allowed.
- Don't feed the pigeons. (That's illegal, too.)
- Don't be alarmed if you see water oozing out of the drains. (Parts of the Venice often get wet during high tide, usually during winter.)
- Walk on the right side of the streets, always! The locals are not in holidays...
- Don't stop on the bridges, they important part of the circulation and it's illegal. Well, if you see you are not preventing the traffic, stay the time to admire the view and make some photos. Then, leave the bridge free. The locals will thank you!