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Venice:



Basilica of San Marco

Basilica of San Marco

The St. Mark’s Basilica is the most prominent religious and one of the most important historical buildings in Venice. Its richly decorated interior are dripping  in gold and frescos that still wear the scent of Constantinople makes it stand out from most  religious buildings in the world. It is probably the main tourist attraction as well, that leaves no one indifferent which makes it a must for those visiting the city.

The St. Mark’s Basilica is located on Piazza San Marco (the city square), right in the center of the city. Although the complete name of the church is The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, it is commonly called just the Basilica of Saint Mark. It is also the seat of the Bishop of Venice (the Catholic Church) who is also called the Patriarch of Venice. This Patriarch title is a rare phenomenon in the Catholic Church and is usually reserved for the Eastern Orthodox religious leaders. This is due to the intricate relations between the Venetian Republic and the Eastern Roman Empire (Christian Orthodox Religion) and the influence of Catholic Church. This Basilica was originally only the Doge’s chapel whilst it became a cathedral only in 1807.

The construction of the first chapel began in 828, when two Venetian merchants aided by two Greek monks stole the remains assumed to have belonged to Mark the Evangelist (one of the Christ's Apostles) from Alexandria (which was under the rule of Abbasid Caliphate at the time). These relics were then transported to Venice.
After the construction in 10th century, it burned down in a rebellion only to be rebuilt a number of times afterwards. It is assumed that at the end of 11th and the beginning of 12th century, the present basilica was constructed, whereas the mosaics and the façade were completed in the 13th century. The final touches to the basilica were given in the 13th and 14th century after successful campaigns in the Eastern Roman Empire. After the invasion of Constantinople, many treasures as well as parts of the ancient Byzantine building were brought to Venice as spoils of war such as: columns, mosaics etc. Parts of the objects looted were also added to the Cathedral and incorporated into its façade. Also, a large part of the Basilica’s treasure originates from Byzantine and the very same period.

What is important to a tourist is that there are also many other places that can be visited together with the Basilica, such as: the Bell Tower of the Basilica, the Museum of Saint Marco, The Pala d’Oro (golden cloth) and the Treasury.

The entrance to the Basilica San Marco is FREE of charge. The working hours of the Basilica are as follows: Monday-Saturday 9:45-17:00h, whereas on Sundays the basilica will be open from 14:00 to 16:00h or even longer depending on whether it is a summer or a winter season (see the complete table below).

Museum of Saint Marco
This museum was originally established in the late 19th century, but recently it was enlarged and now occupies a part of the Basilica as well as Doge’s Banquet Hall. This museum exhibits different objects that belong to the church, so visitors may see: mosaics, manuscripts, Persian carpets, liturgical artefacts etc.
Regular ticket price for the Museum of San Marco is 3 Euros, while the working hours are Monday-Sunday from 9:45 to 16:45h (for more detailed information see the table below).

Pala d’Oro (golden cloth)
Pala d’oro in Latin means the golden cloth. Actually it is a screen decoration behind the altar. This object consists of three parts, two of which were ordered by Dogs of Venice and made in Byzantine in 1102. It is an extraordinary piece of art that suggests skilled work performed by Byzantine craftsman. However, the upper third part (together with the image of Archangel Michael) was most probably plundered from Byzantine during the fourth Crusade, when crusaders never reached the Holy Land but pillaged and plundered Constantinople instead and divided the conquered lands. In 1343, the whole object was joined together and additionally decorated with around 2000 gems.
Regular ticket price for the Golden Cloth (Pala d’Oro) is 2 Euros, while the working hours are: Monday-Saturday 9:45-16:00h and Sundays from 14:00 to 16:00h. Pala d’Oro will be open for a longer period during the summer season (see the table below for detailed information on prices and working hours).

Treasury
In the Treasury of Saint Mark’s Basilica, visitors can see a number of different objects made of gold, silver, gems, glass etc. produced by Venetian and Byzantine craftsmen. The collection consists of around 283 objects, while the most impressive part of the collection comes from Byzantine and the plundering of Constantinople in 1204.
The regular ticket price for the Treasury of Basilica of San Marco is 3 Euros, while the working hours of the treasury are Monday-Saturday 9:45-16:00h and Sundays from 14:00 to 16:00h. Treasury of the Basilica will be open for a longer period during the summer season (see the detailed table below).

Different ticket prices for Basilica San Marco attractions
Basilica San Marco
The entrance is FREE of charge.
Keep in mind that while visiting this basilica that certain things are forbidden such as: indecent clothes, entering with luggage, talking loud and taking photos or videos.
Saint Mark’s Museum
Regular Price: 5€.
Reduced Price (for groups over 15 people): 2.5€.
Pala d’Oro (golden ball)
Regular Price: 2€.
Reduced Price (for groups over 15 people): 1€.
Treasury
Regular Price: 3€.
Reduced Price (for groups over 15 people): 1.5€.
You‘ ll be well advised  to check the prices of different attractions before visiting  the official web site of the Basilica of San Marco.

Working hours of different Basilica San Marco attractions
Basilica San Marco
The working hours are somewhat different in comparison to other religious buildings in Italy, because Easter is an important point of reference.
November - Easter (in March or April)
Monday-Saturday 9:45-17:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-16:00h.
Easter (in March or April) - November
Monday-Saturday 9:45-17:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-17:00h
Saint Mark’s Museum
Monday-Sunday 9:45-16:45h.
Pala d’Oro (golden cloth)
November - Easer (in March or April)
Monday-Saturday 9:45-16:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-16:00h.
Easter (in March or April) - November
Monday-Saturday 9:45-17:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-17:00h.
Treasury
November - Easter (in March or April)
Monday-Saturday 9:45-16:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-16:00h.
Easter (in March or April) - November
Monday-Saturday 9:45-17:00h.
Sundays and Holydays 14:00-17:00h.

Translation support - angloland

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