The principle public square of Venice, given the epic grandeur of the city as a whole, it was always going to be magnificent, and St Mark’s Square is! It is a grand showcase, a reflection of the glory of Venice’s past – with the arcaded Procuratie Vecchie on one side and the Procuratie Nuove on the other, it is the perfect place to pause, people watch and soak up the wonders of this unique city.
At either end of the piazza are two of Venice’s most popular sights, the Museo Correr, the museum of art and antiquities, and the resplendent Basilica di San Marco. An icon of domes and mosaics, San Marco’s was founded in the 9th century to house the body of St Mark himself but, after a fire in 932, it was rebuilt as a monument to Venice’s cosmopolitan nature.
Byzantine domes, the Greek cross layout and sumptuous marble from Syria, Palestine and Egypt alongside a staggering display of gold and precious stones inside, are all as magnificent today as ever, making it hard to believe that, until the 1800s, this was the private chapel of Venice’s Doge – the Palazzo Ducale is right next door.
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