This is the first thing most tourists see when they enter the great Piazza of San Marko in Venice. This impressive tower had many purposes over history - it was a watchtower, lighthouse and a bell tower, only to finally become the most magnificent view point that offering a breathtaking panoramic view of Venice.
This is the Bell Tower of the Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice. It is located on Piazza San Marko, the main city square, and represents one of the most well-known buildings of the city. It is an impressive tower that is 98 meters high, covered in brick and which hosts famous five church bells.
Originally, the tower was built on the foundations of a Roman construction in 9th century. This tower was used as a watch tower and a lighthouse for the nearby docks. The first tower of the current shape was finished in the 12th century, while the entrance and the porch at its base were finished in the 16th century.
The tower was damaged and burned numerous times by lightings until 1776, when the tower was equipped with a lightning rod.
Incredibly, the tower completely collapsed in 1902. In just a few days after the first cracks appeared the tower completely disappeared under the pile of bricks and rubble. It was decided then that an exact replica should be built on the same spot, but this time with additional interior support. The new tower was finished and opened in 1912.
Nowadays, the tower has an additional purpose; it is the best view point in the city that offers to tourist the breathtaking view on the center of the city as well as the nearby islands.
All five bells of the tower have their names and had a specific purpose over the history. Renghiera bell announced executions, Mezza Terza announced a session of the Senate, Nona announced midday, Trottiera called for Major Council meetings, while Marangona was used to mark the beginning and the end of a working day.
Since it is built on weak foundations, as all other buildings in Venice, even this tower version is showing signs of damage. The tower started to lean to one side and show cracks in its structure, due to damage made by winter sea water that often floods Venice. The works are in progress to insert a titanium ring which would stabilize the foundations and prevent further damage to the tower.
Ticket prices of the Bell Tower of the Basilica San Marco
Regular ticket price is 8 Euros (€) (≈9$).
Reduced ticket price is 4 Euros (€) (≈4.5$).
Reduced price- for groups of more than 15 people.
We advise you to check the prices as well as the working hours before visiting on the official web site of the Basilica of San Marco.
Working hours of the Bell Tower of the Basilica San Marco
Easter holyday is a very important reference point when it comes to working hours of both the Basilica of San Marco as well as the Bell Tower.
From July to September working hours are: 09:00-21:00h.
In October working hours are: 09:00-19:00h.
From November to Easter (falls in March or April) working hours are 9:30-3:45h.
From Easter (falls in March or April) to June working hours are: 09:00-19:00h.