Hidden treasures

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

Unknown places & works
grifoni-san-marco

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

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View