Hidden treasures

The Griffins of the St Mark's Basilica Flooring in Venice

Unknown places & works

The Griffins of the St Mark's Basilica Flooring in Venice

When you enter St. Mark's Basilica in Venice for the first time you cannot help but look up and admire the 4000 square meters of sparkling mosaics that cover the domes and arches of the ceiling. A careful observer will also note that is like walking on an amazing work of art, made with fantastic polychrome marble.

In the floor of the St. Mark's Basilica Basilica there are many geometric plots and animals, which have mostly a symbolic function, such as eagles (= divine wisdom), Peacocks (= rebirth) and herons (sacrifice of Jesus Christ).

There are also some fantastic animals, griffins, who have the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. According to mythology, griffins built their nests close to treasures and their eggs were made of gold.

We find the griffin in many ancient cultures, such as the Babylonians, Assyrians and Persians. In the Middle Ages the griffin is present in several coats of arms of noble families, since they were attributed many virtues, especially courage, and without defects; in churches instead it symbolizes the courage of Faith.

Even in modern culture the Griffin is back in the limelight. In the books of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter, the little wizard who attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, is a member of the house of Gryffindor, considered the bravest of all wizards!


St Mark's Basilica in Venice is open daily at the following times:

From 1 November to Easter Sunday

weekdays: 9:45am to 5pm - Sundays and holidays: 2pm to 4pm

From Easter Monday to 31 October

weekdays: 9:45am to 5pm - Sundays and holidays: 2pm to 5pm

From 1 April 1st to 31 October we remind you that it is possible to book the skip-the-line entrance and avoid the long queue at the entrance that is generally to be expected!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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