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St Mark’s Basilica

St Mark's Square, Venice

A visit of Saint Mark’s Basilica will open the doors of the history of Venice for you... The beauty of this monument is absolute, a mystical and fascinating place that intertwines Eastern and Western worlds, history, arts and faith.

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Inside, an unstoppable succession of emotions touch your soul through your eyes making unnecessary any other word. Impressive religious building based on a Greek cross surmounted by five domes, the Basilica houses the remains of St. Mark and a lot of valuable artifacts donated by the people of Venice as a tribute to the city’ patrons.

Among mosaics, ornaments, precious objects, holy and allegorical images, the Treasury of San Marco deserves an in-depth visit.

San Marco Treasury in Venice is preserved in some ancient rooms adjacent to the Doge’s Palace, reached by a small aisle of the right transept of the basilica. Part of the St Mark’s Treasure also includes the famous Pala d'Oro of St Mark’s Basilica Venice.

The Museum of the Treasury of San Marco Venice contains 283 objects, many of them coming from the sack of Constantinople, which took place in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. The San Marco Treasury includes a rich collection of religious art objects and jewellery of Eastern character ranging from the 6th to the 12th century - glasses, cups, patens, gold and silver enamel, ... - but there are also beautiful works of western jewellery and Venetian filigree. Gold, silver, glass, and other fine materials still shine magnificently despite the passage of time and various events which have diminished the massive initial collection of the Treasury San Marco in Venice by a fire - which in 1231 destroyed the original nucleus - in 1797 a portion was used to pay for the occupation of the Napoleonic army, and between 1815 and 1819, another part of St Mark’s Treasure financed the restoration of the Basilica of San Marco.

Today, what remains of the collection of St Mark’s Venice Treasury is still very significant and makes one appreciate the splendor experienced by the Venice Republic. A small vestibule leads to the shrine - where you can admire the precious relics which came to Venice from Constantinople, the Holy Land and from different places in the eastern Mediterranean - and also to the real treasure of St Mark’s Basilica treasury in Venice, divided into four sections: one preserves relics belonging to classical antiquity and the early Middle Ages, another one is dedicated to Byzantine goldsmith, the third houses many objects of Islamic art and the last enshrines pieces of Western origin and workmanship.

Of particular interest are the two splendid altar frontals exposed on the south wall (one from the 13th century and the other from the 15th century), and the throne-reliquary of San Marco in alabaster (dating back to the sixth century).

The St Mark’s Basilica Pala d'Oro in Venice is another great treasure of the basilica that dazzles visitors with art and the precious materials employed. Composed of 250 squares adorned with precious stones and enamels placed on a sheet of silver gilt, the Pala d'Oro in Venice was commissioned in the 12th century. by the Doge Ordelaffo Falier in Byzantium and, over time, has gradually expanded to become a work of incredible splendor and value. Unfortunately, as happened in the Treasury of San Marco, several stones were stolen from the St Mark Venice Pala d'Oro during the rule of Napoleon, but the light and splendor that the Venice San Marco Pala d'Oro portrays still has no equal in medieval history. Symbolically, the Pala d'Oro in St Mark’s Basilica Venice is understood to be an elevation of man towards God: the central figure of Christ solemn blessing which is followed by all the images around.

Basilica of San Marco Treasury

Venice – St Mark’s Square 30124

St. Marks Treasury Visiting Times:

  • From November to April: 9.45 am–4.00 pm - Sunday and holidays: 2.00 pm–4.00 pm
  • From April to November: 9.45 am–5.00 pm - Sunday and holidays: 2.00pm –5.00 pm