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The best St. Mark’s Basilica mosaics: discovering a treasure

St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most famous symbols of Venice all over the world – in every moment of the day, it sparkles and shines in front of thousands of visitors coming to visit it.

Opening hours can be consulted online on the official website. Considering that the entrance ticket is free, it would be a real shame to miss the opportunity to enter the so-called “Golden Basilica“, and admire the famous mosaics inside.

We suggest booking privileged access to avoid the queues at the main entrance – the service is available online up to 10 minutes before the chosen visiting time.

The St. Mark’s Basilica mosaics

The Venetian Cathedral is a great architectural work, and embodies the magic of the East and the culture of the West – inside, you’ll findan infinite artistic wealth to be discovered. Not surprisingly, the prestige of the Serenissima Republic was reflected for many centuries in the magnificence of its 8600 square meters of mosaics, and in the beauty of its precious treasures.

The pictorial composition of mosaics has a long history, starting in Mesopotamia, but it experienced its most radiant expressions in the advanced imperial period. Using pieces of colored glass, enamels and large quantities of gold, the masters of Constantinople began the production of small vitreous and metallic tesserae to embellish the palaces and churches of Venice.

Inside the St. Mark’s Basilica, mosaics decorate domes, aisles and floors; the golden mantle and the studied chromaticity of the marbles are truly a spellbinding sight.

The Ascension dome and the Pentecost dome

The central nave of the church is dedicated to Christian salvation history: looking up, you will find two of the most famous domes in the basilica.

The Ascension dome depicts a starry circle where Christ is in the center, carried upward by four flying angels. Below, among the golden trees that represent the earthly world, you can find the twelve Apostles with the Virgin Mary. The second one is the Pentecost dome, where the Holy Spirit descends on the Apostles in the form of fiery tongues.

These mosaics date back to the 12th century, and give the church a similar appearance toMiddle Eastern churches – a very evocative light, thanks to the use of of using gold leaf.

The St. Mark’s Basilica floors: polychrome marble mosaics

Entering the church, most visitors are led to look upwards to contemplate the splendid mosaics of the domes – in fact, you should also look down. The basilica’s floor is a priceless work of art – mosaics formed by precious polychrome marbles decorate the ground on which thousands of tourists place their feet.

Deers, griffins, doves and many other animals with a symbolic significance, follow each other in interweaving and geometric decorations. If you visit the Basilica with your children, this aspect will surely interest them, making the experience more entertaining for everyone.