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St Mark’s Museum
San Marco 328, Venice
St Mark’s Museum Venice Italy exhibits objects that belong to the history of the Basilica - like the original four bronze horses of St Mark visible on the terrace - a cultural and historical heritage of inestimable value that is stored and preserved with care because it is a valuable evidence of devotion, talent and audacity that have allowed these relics to come to Venice to become the symbols of one of the most beautiful churches in the world.
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Originally from the nineteenth century, the Museo of San Marco in Venezia collects the 'meaning' of this extraordinary basilica in beautiful forms of art and spirituality. After numerous studies aimed at the reorganization of the exhibition at the Museum of San Marco, a recent restoration has allowed to join the rooms above the lobby-narthex of the basilica with the Banquet Hall, obtaining additional spaces: the San Marco Museum Venice is now divided into three sections Mosaics, Textiles and Quadriga and Ancient.
Among the treasures preserved in St Mark’s Museum Venice stand the original horses of St Mark’s Square, the famous quadriga who was positioned on the roof of the ancient Hippodrome of Constantinople until the sacking of the city at the hands of the Venetians in 1204. From the 'sack of Constantinople' the inhabitants of Venice brought into the country a considerable booty, the famous bronze St Mark’s horses being part of it. Seated on the terrace of the Basilica since the thirteenth century, the original horses of St Mark were replaced with copies in 1982, to protect them from smog and atmospheric agents. The origin of these wonderful St Mark’s Cathedral Venice horses in gilded bronze is still uncertain – they could be Greek or Roman: a little mystery which further enriches the cultural visit of the museum of the basilica.
The Banquet Hall houses the pall of Paolo Veneziano, a wooden panel - dating back to the mid-fourteenth century - painted with the stories of St Mark which once covered the Pala d'Oro. The exhibition at the St Mark’s Museum, Venice also includes: Persian carpets, vestments, miniature codes with texts of St Mark’s liturgies, valuable musical instruments, fragments of mosaics, tapestries in wool with the stories of the Passion of Christ and other silk and silver with the stories of San Marco.
A visit to the St Mark’s Museum in Venice ends in the shadow of the copies of the 4 horses: St. Mark's Square will open in front of you to give you one of the most beautiful views of Venice. Between St Mark’s basin - where you can see the island of San Giorgio - Doge's Palace and the elegant Procuratie, the scene of St Mark’s Square when seen from above will leave you speechless!
A fascinating journey through spirituality, art and culture ... A visit to the Museum of San Marco in Venice will help you fully understand the essence of the St Mark’s Basilica.
Museo San Marco tickets
Venice – St Mark’s Square 30124
Visiting times: 9.45am – 4.45pm