What to see in Venice – Part Two: St. Mark’s Basilica
San Marco Square – you can’t go to Venice and miss this central square. From the square you visit the main attractions of Venice:
(To read about the famous bell tower in St. Marks Square in Venice, Italy – read the previous post by clicking here).
2 – St. Mark’s Basilica – The Basilica dominates one end of San Marco Square and the outside is just as elaborately decorated as the inside.
Quick history and fun facts about St. Mark’s Basilica:
– The church was originally the chapel of the Doge until 1807.
– The Byzantine mosaics have lent a nickname to the church – “Church of gold” or “Chiesa d’Oro”
– The church construction dates back to the 9th century with of course many reconstructions and additions. Most of the mosaics are attributed to the 13th century although the exterior mosaics are mostly from the 19th century.
– The horses are bronze replicas of the originals which are in the St. Mark’s Museum. The original horses are from the mid-13th century.
What to know when visiting St. Mark’s Basilica – Allow for a good amount of time to visit the Basilica which is free to enter but can have a long line/wait to get in.
*Make sure your shoulders are covered ladies. For those with bare shoulders you can buy a papery poncho at the door for a Euro, otherwise you are not allowed in! This dress-code for churches and cathedrals is standard practice in Italy and Spain and most other European countries.
Photo tip – To get that golden light on the front of St. Mark’s Basilica be at San Marco Square about two hours before sunset. Early morning golden sun will be on the opposite side of the square.