St. Mark’s Basilica: Millennium-Old Church of Venice

Dedicated to and named after one of the most important figures of Christianity, St. Mark’s Basilica is a millennium-old church in Venice, Italy. The basilica contains the remains and relics of Saint Mark who was one of the apostles and the author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is also the patron saint of the city, so it is fitting that one of the most important churches in Italy is dedicated to him. St. Mark’s Basilica is famous for its mosaics, columns, frescoes, statues, and all in all for its architectural design. Moreover, St. Mark’s Basilica is the seat of the Patriarch of Venice who is one of the four patriarchs in the Catholic Church.

St. Mark's Basilica
Riccardo Rizzetto

The foundation of the church goes back to the 9th century. During that century, the remains of St. Mark were moved to Venice from Egypt. The Venetians stored the remains and the relics of Mark in their governmental seat, the Doge’s Palace. However, while dying, the Doge of Venice told his wife and kids to build a church in the city, dedicate it to Mark, and put his relics there. As a result of this will, the construction of the Basilica started. Until 1063, 2 different churches were in use but they fell into despair after some time. In 1063, the construction of the present church started and today it is the only standing one.

St. Mark's Basilica side profile

St. Mark’s Basilica is also known as the “church of gold” because of the gold mosaics inside the church building. The Basilica has 44,000 square feet of gold mosaics done over 800 years. One of the most lengthy mosaics in the church is the telling of how Mark’s remains came to Venice.

St. Mark's Basilica exterior

The Basilica was also home to an architectural evolution. The three façades of the church and its interior underwent many changes over centuries, such as the addition of marble, columns, statues of Christian figures, and golden mosaics. Aside from its importance for the Christian world, the overall architecture and atmosphere of the church make the Basilica one of the most popular destinations in Venice.

St. Mark's Basilica interior mosaic
Basilica interior mosaics roof
 Basilica exterior mosaics
 Basilica statues
the building entrance and horses
the inside of the building
 Basilica the disciples statues
Terri Blake Myers
Basilica during the night
Nicko Reginio Caluya