Monday, June 27, 2016

Italy Blog #12: Venice: St. Mark's Basilica/Basilica di San Marco

Rob and Tom in front of St. Mark's Basilica
In this blog (the 12th) of our trip to Italy, we're taking you to the famous St. Mark's Square, home of many famous
structures - but we'll take you to St. Mark's Basilica.

TIP IF YOU GO - It's really best to get a private tour guide (with tickets) in advance- we were able to get right inside with independent tour guides and skip long lines of people just buying tickets, and those in large tour groups.

WHAT IS ST. MARK'S BASILICA?  - The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, Italy. It's the most famous church in the city, and very wealthy. It is also one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. It is located at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge's Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has only been the city's cathedral since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice. 

St. Mark's Basilica (center) with Campanile Tower (right)
INTERESTING HISTORY - The first St Mark's was a building next to the Doge's Palace, ordered by the doge (one of three Italian Kings) in AD 828, when Venetian merchants stole the supposed relics of Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria, Egypt, and completed by 832. **We saw some of the "pieces" of St. Mark in the Basilica- but it can't be proven. **
   BURNED DOWN TO KILL - According to the history (on Wikipedia): the church was burned in a rebellion in 976, when the populace locked Pietro IV Candiano inside to kill him, and restored or rebuilt in 978. Nothing certain is known of the form of these early churches. From perhaps 1063 the present basilica was constructed.
Inside the Basilica. Credit:

NO PHOTOS INSIDE- There were NO pictures allowed in the basilica because it's an active church. So, we had to go on the Internet to get a picture of the inside.

Horses of St. Mark.
IF YOU READ DAN BROWN'S BOOK "INFERNO" - You'll read about the statue of the "Horses of Saint Mark."  This set of bronze statues of four horses, also known as the “Triumphal Quadriga,” was originally part of a monument depicting a “quadriga” or a racing chariot pulled by four horses. The sculptures are thought to date back to classical antiquity and are attributed to the Greek sculptor Lysippos who lived around 4 BC. The horses were placed on the façade of St Mark’s Basilica after the sack of Constantinople in 1204, was looted by Napoleon in 1797, and then put back in 1815. They have since been taken down from the facade and placed inside the church instead, to preserve them. The ones currently on the façade are replicas.\

NEXT:    Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace)

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next