St. Mark’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Venice, Italy. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Venice and is considered as the most famous church found in the city. The St. Mark’s Basilica is also one of the best known existing examples of a church built influenced by Byzantine architecture.
St. Mark’s Basilica History
The roots of St. Mark’s Basilica can be traced as early as 828 AD where a temporary building was constructed to house the relics of Mark the Evangelist when it was taken from Alexandria. It was replaced by a new church in 832 but was burned down as a result of a rebellion in 976. A new church was built in its stead in 978. A new church was built in 1063 to form the basic structure for the current basilica existing today. Over the years, the cathedral underwent several changes in its design. The current structure eventually took its shape when the cathedral was completed in 1617.
St. Mark’s Basilica Features
St. Mark’s Basilica is a cathedral built with features influenced by Byzantine architecture. It also has certain Gothic architectural styles blended into its design due to the influences over its long construction period.
The exterior of the basilica can be divided into three registers. The lower register contains the five round-arched portals. The upper register, located on top of the ogee arches, contain the statues of Theological and Cardinal Virtues as well as four Warrior Saints and that of St. Mark that watches over the city. On the upper portion consist of the five domes.
St. Mark’s Basilica is a church that has undergone quite a lot of design additions coming from various influences. It may be the result of its construction going through different periods where architectural influences differ from one period to the next. As a result St. Mark’s Basilica became a result of this unique mix of design features that make it quite a striking cathedral known as a famous landmark in the city of Venice.