Venice Guide: Piazza San Marco

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Venice Guide: Piazza San Marco

Venice Guide
Index Page
English Text Testo Venessian
Piazza San Marco Nearest Places of Interest Places of Interest Piazza San Marco Nearest Places of Interest Places of Interest Piazza San Marco Nearest Waterbus Stop Waterbus Stop
  1. Saint Mark's Basilica
  2. Ducal Palace
  3. Marciana Library
  4. Archaeological Museum
  5. Loggetta and Bell Tower
  1. Correr Museum
  2. Mori's Clock
  3. Saint Moisč Church
  4. Prison's Palace
  5. St. Zaccaria Church
  1. San Marco (Vallaresso) (Details)
  2. San Marco (Paglia) (Details)
  3. San Zaccaria (Details)
Nearest Restaurants
Piazza San Marco on Venice map See Piazza San Marco on the interactive Map of veniceXplorer Saint Mark's Basilica Ducal Palace Ducal Palace Marciana Library Archaeological Museum Loggetta and Bell Tower Correr Museum Mori's Clock Saint Moisč Church Prison's Palace St. Zaccaria Church San Marco (Vallaresso) San Marco (Paglia) San Zaccaria
Venice Hotels Guide See Piazza San Marco on the interactive Map of veniceXplorer.

Piazza San Marco

The Piazza San Marco (or, Saint Mark’s Square) is probably the most famous place of Venice. From the medieval age it has always been treated as the centre of Venice.
It was the location of all the important offices of the Venetian state, and has been the seat of the archbishopric since the 19th century. It was also the focus for many of Venice's festivals.

The Piazza originated in the 9th century as a small area in front of the original St Mark's Basilica. It was enlarged to its present size and shape in 1177.
The Piazza was paved in the late 13th century with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. Bands of light-colored stone ran parallel to the long axis of the main piazza. These lines were probably used in setting up market stalls and in organizing frequent ceremonial processions.

San Marco Gabbiano
Piazza San Marco with the Basilica, by Canaletto, 1730

In 1723 the bricks were replaced with a more complex geometrical pavement design composed of a field of dark-colored igneous trachyte with geometrical designs executed in white Istrian stone.
Squares of diagonally-laid blocks alternated with rectangular and oval designs along broad parallel bands. The squares were pitched to the center, like a bowl, where a drain conducted surface water into a below-grade drainage system.
The pattern connected the central portal of the Basilica with the center of the western opening into the piazza. The design was laid out by Venetian architect Andrea Tirali.

In 1890, the pavement was renewed due to wear and tear. The new work closely follows Tirali's design, but eliminated the oval shapes and cut off the west edge of the pattern to accommodate the Napoleanic wing at that end of the Piazza.

On both sides of the piazza are the Procuratie buildings, which housed the procurators of San Marco.
The buildings around the Piazza, anti-clockwise from the Grand Canal, are the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Basilica, St Mark's Clocktower, the Procuratie Vecchie, the Napoleonic Wing of the Procuraties, the Procuratie Nuove, St Mark's Campanile and Logetta and the Biblioteca Marciana.

Piazza San Marco Front View

The Correr Museum and the Museum of Archaeology are located in some of the buildings of the Piazza.
The Venetian Mint lies beyond the Biblioteca Marciana on the riva or bank of the Grand Canal. The last of these buildings were completed under Napoleonic occupation, although the campanile has since been rebuilt. Medieval

Piazza San Marco - Porta della Carta

Piazza San Marco
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