Venice > The Basilica of San Marco

The Basilica of San Marco

The architectural styles and decorative elements of the East and the west have been merged to create one of the most spectacular buildings in the world. The outside owes its splendour and oriental style to the treasures arrived from overseas territories Venetians, among which the famous bronze copies of horses brought from Constantinople in 1204, columns opulent, the bas-reliefs and the colored marbles that dot the facade. Mosaics from different eras adorn the five gates, while the main portal is framed by italian bas-reliefs of the romanesque period (1240-65).
The magnificent interior of the basilica is covered with splendid mosaics, which begin in the narthex, or atrium, and which culminate in the glittering panels of the domes of Pentecost and Ascension. In the lobby, the dome of the Genesis boasts an extraordinary creation of the world described in concentric circles. Also the floor is decorated with a mosaic in marble and glass. From the atrium some steps lead to the Museum Marciano, where are kept the famous horses of Constantinople.
Among the other treasures, are worthy of note the Pala d'Oro, monted with jewelry, placed behind the altar, and the icon of the Nicopeia.