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Venice 2014

Basilica of San Marco

San Marco at Night

Basilica of San Marco, Venice, Italy, 1063

The Basilica of San Marco was opened to the public in 1063. The grand exterior, although modified and renovated over many years, captures visitors from all over the world.  Its bright mosaics as well as the Gothic-like style captivate visitors, leaving them wanting to see more.  The Western façade has come to be known as the entrance of the Church but originally is the on the Southern façade, where the Pillars of Acre as well as the Four Tetrarchs are placed.  The entrance, Porta da Mar, was originally on the Southern façade because when visitors came to Venice, they were greeted by the Doge in front of his home and moved to the Basilica where meetings as well as religious ceremonies were held.  It could possibly be the reason behind the placement of the two spoli.  By the sixteenth century, the Porta da Mar was walled up to house the tomb of Cardinal Zen, making the Western façade the main entrance.[1]  The placement of the Four Bronzed Horses directly above the Western façade entrance was not an accident. Each of the Four Bronzed Horses at San Marco rest on two short columns so that all in the Piazza San Marco could see them.[2]  Each spolia was placed in its spot to show its significance in Venice.

 

[1] Ettore Vio, The Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, (Florence: Scala Group, 1999), p. 57

[2] Michael Jacoff, The Horses of San Marco and the Quadriga of the Lord, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 87

San Marco at Night

Basilica of San Marco, Venice, Italy, 1063

The Basilica of San Marco was opened to the public in 1063. The grand exterior, although modified and renovated over many years, captures visitors from all over the world.  Its bright mosaics as well as the Gothic-like style captivate visitors, leaving them wanting to see more.  The Western façade has come to be known as the entrance of the Church but originally is the on the Southern façade, where the Pillars of Acre as well as the Four Tetrarchs are placed.  The entrance, Porta da Mar, was originally on the Southern façade because when visitors came to Venice, they were greeted by the Doge in front of his home and moved to the Basilica where meetings as well as religious ceremonies were held.  It could possibly be the reason behind the placement of the two spoli.  By the sixteenth century, the Porta da Mar was walled up to house the tomb of Cardinal Zen, making the Western façade the main entrance.[1]  The placement of the Four Bronzed Horses directly above the Western façade entrance was not an accident. Each of the Four Bronzed Horses at San Marco rest on two short columns so that all in the Piazza San Marco could see them.[2]  Each spolia was placed in its spot to show its significance in Venice.

 

[1] Ettore Vio, The Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, (Florence: Scala Group, 1999), p. 57

[2] Michael Jacoff, The Horses of San Marco and the Quadriga of the Lord, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), p. 87