BASILICA DI SAN MARCO 3D

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BASILICA DI SAN MARCO


Basilica di San Marco

If seen - it - all modern visitors gasp to discover bright - eyed apostles and luminous angels staring down from San Marco`s golden domes, just imagine visitors` reactions in the Middle Ages. At the time, most medieval buildings in the region were low wooden structures, indoor lighting was dim and colour pigments were rere imported luxuries - and here was a soaring stone structure with sunlight bouncing off millions of tiny tesserae made from gold and crushed semiprecious stones. Since San Marco was officially the chapel of the doge (Venice`s leader), the dogi took to displaying stolen treasures in the basilica, including the gilded bronze horses from Constantinople that high - stepped over the central portal. (These were later stolen by Napoleon, but are now on display inside; the ones over the portal on the Loggia dei Cavalli are copies.). ALISON BING

literature: Bing Alison. Venice Encounter: Sestieri - San Marco. ISBN 9781741049978. London: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd ABN36005607983, 2009., 41.pg. 

PREPARE TO BE WOWED BY THE BASILICA DI SAN MARCO


  • The burning question isn`t if you should see Venice`s jewel of a cathedral, but when. Morning mystics insist you must arrive when millions of sunlit tesserae emit an otherworldly glow, causing jaws to drop to the semiprecious - stone floors. Sunset romantics lobby you to linger in the Piazza San Marco, waiting for the fading sun to shatter portal mosaics into golden shards as the Caffe Florian house band strikes up the tango. Our advice? Go now, and go often. With millennium - old special - effects wizardry that puts modern Hollywood to shame, the basilica is set to dazzle morning to night, inside and out.
  • This landmark was inspired by religious larceny in 828, when Venetian merchants smuggled the corpse of St Matthew out of Egypt. Venice already had all the makings of a global trading centre - plenty of ports, a defendable position against Charlemagne and the Huns, a patron saint to oversee transactions - but there was no glorious landmark to fix Venice`s place on the world map. And so the city summoned the best artisans from Byzantium and beyond to enshrine both the relic and Venice`s trading prowess in one unmistakable monument.

                                             BASILICA DI SAN MARCO

  • But there remained the small matter of construction. The usual medieval setbacks of riots and fires thrice destroyed exterior mosaics and weakened the underlying structure. As ceilings drooped and tastes changed, Jacopo Sansovino and other church architects grafed on supports, Gothic arches and every type of polychrome marble available for purchase or pillage. Occasionally higher purpose got clouded over by construction dust: St Mark`s bones were misplaced twice.
  • Give or take a holy tibia, Venice`s transition from backwater upstart to sophisticated cosmopolitan capital was successfully completed by the 18th century. Today, even during the high tides that wash over the sinking piazza, San Marco still sets the high - water mark for architectural amazement. ALISON BING

Basilica di San Marco
     
 TOP FIVE BASILICA DI SAN MARCO MUST SEES

  1. Cupola of the Ascension - the golden central dome is truly uplifting, with angels swirling overhead and a dreamy - eyed St. Mark on the pendentive (dome support).  
  2. Pala d`Oro - minutely worked enamel portraits of apostles in superhero capes outshine the 2000 gemstones on this priceless altarpiece.
  3. Dome of Genesis - created 650 years before abstract art and hip hop, these medieval mosaics show the separation of sky and water, and angels busting dance moves.
  4. Pavimenti - prepare to be floored by the dizzying optical effects of polychrome stone mosaics.
  5. Loggia dei Cavalli - bronze horses leap off the balcony over Piazza San Marco. ALISON BING
    • literature: Bing Alison. Venice Encounter: Highlights - Basilica di San Marco. ISBN 9781741049978. London: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd ABN36005607983, 2009., 10. - 11.pg.   
                           
    • This great Basilica, with ground plan of a Greek cross and crowned with five domes, the third church on this site. The first, built to guard the body of St.. Mark in 9th century, was gutted by fire.                                             

    Basilica di San Marco
                                                                                        

    • The second was destroyed in the 11th c. It would be room for a spectacular building designed by an unknown architect (1063 - 1094), which reflects the growing power of the Republic. The Basilica was rebuilt and continued over the next century, and the 1807th Mr. inherited the church of San Pietro in Sestiere Castello as a Venetian cathedral, until then used as the Doge's private chapel for the official ceremony.
    Basilica di San Marco

    • literature: Žderić D., Glamuzina D., Karabatić I., Žderić I., Kozole L., Baniček M., i Šarić I. Venecija i Veneto - Eyewitness travel guide: Venecija dio po dio - San Marco. ISBN/EAN: 9789531200479.  Zagreb: Profil International, 2005., 78.pg.
                                              
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    INSIDE THE BASILICA DI SAN MARCO



    Basilica di San Marco

     
    Inside the Basilica

    • Of dark, mysterious and rich booty from the conquests of war, the Basilica is a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. The Oriental extravagance, during the 6 th century, nice with beautiful mosaics, marble and sculptures, was the appropriate place for the ceremony Serenissima.
    • Here is the post-election doge was presented town, here were received city leaders, popes, princes and ambassadors, and the captains of the ships came to pray for protection before setting sail on an epic journey.
    • literature: Žderić D., Glamuzina D., Karabatić I., Žderić I., Kozole L., Baniček M., i Šarić I. Venecija i Veneto - Eyewitness travel guide: Venecija dio po dio - San Marco. ISBN/EAN: 9789531200479.  Zagreb: Profil International, 2005., 80.pg.
    • Church authorities in Rome took a dim view of Venice`s tendency to glorify itself and God in the same breath, but Venice finished San Marco as it saw fit: the basilica`s grand East - meets - West cosmopolitan style includes Eastern onion - bulb domes, a Greek cross layout, Gothic arches, and dizzying puzzle - work floors made from Egyptian marble. The roped - off circuit of the church is free and takes about 15 minutes; going through twice is recommended to recover from the initial astonishment. The Loggia dei Cavalli is worth a look for its views over Piazza San Marco, but the alabaster chalices and icons in the Treasury can`t quite compare to the exquisite enamel miniatures on the bejewelled Pala d`Oro altarpiece.  
      Note that you`ll need to be dressed modestly (ie knees and shoulders covered) to enter the basilica, and large bags must be left around the corner at Ateneo di San Basso (9:30am - 5:30pm). ALISON BING
    Basilica di San Marco

      literature: Bing Alison. Venice Encounter: Sestieri - San Marco. ISBN 9781741049978. London: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd ABN36005607983, 2009., 41 - 44.pg.
       
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