St. Mark's
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Architect unknown
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Location Venice, Italy   map
Date circa 1050   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System bearing masonry and timber frame domes
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Byzantine
Notes San Marco. Interior with gilding and mosaics. Bronze horses from ancient Greece. Excellent and famouspublic plaza in front, the Piazza San Marco. Adjacent to the Doge's Palace.


Photo, exterior from above

Photo, exterior

Photo, historical



Plan Drawing

Section Drawing


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Discussion St. Mark's Commentary

"St. Mark's basilica majestically symbolizes the lagoon and enshrines the city's history. Possession of the saint's relics enabled the Republic to establish its authority, from 828 onward, over Grado and Aquileia. In 1063, under Doge Domenico Contarini, it was decided to rebuild the church on the same Greek cross plan as the previous one. In 1096 it was finished, but the decorative work continued until the beginning of the 19th century. The model had been furnished by the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople (536-46); five domes covering the crossing and each of the arms, supported by large piers linked by arches. The light was thus directed towards the centre of the basilica, leaving the side aisles in comparative shadow."

— John Julius Norwich. The World Atlas of Architecture. p204.

Sources on St. Mark's

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD .0218. PCD 2260.1012.0218.

Otto Demus. The Church of San Marco in Venice. Washington, D.C.: The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Trustees for Harvard University, 1960. NA5621.V5D4. plan drawing of the crypt, plate 20.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. transverse section drawing, fig g, p295. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. photo of horses sculpture, p25. photo of square and campanile from archway, p61.

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photos, cutaway drawings, p90-91. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

Duane Siegrist, University of Oregon. Slide from photographer's collection, July 1993. PCD.3236.1011.0837.041. PCD.3236.1011.0837.042.

Doreen Yarwood. The Architecture of Europe. New York: Hastings House, 1974. ISBN 0-8038-0364-8. LC 73-11105. NA950.Y37. aerial perspective drawing, f208, p102. no image credit.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about St. Mark's


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