The Cathedral that we see today was first built in 1063 after a number of smaller churches were built and destroyed on the same spot. The original building bore little resemlance to the structure of today as construction would go on for 500 years as additional chapels were erected, domes were constructed and the façade carved out.
As the centuries wore on, much of the material used to build the cathedral came in with ships from distant lands chiefly laiden with spoils from Christian conquests. Much of the marble, especially used for the columns came from ancient temples of the east and this unique blend of design and construction from different ages and civilisations make the San Marco Cathedral one of the most unique in the world.
There is a great deal to see inside the Cathedral. The visiting areas are split into the main part that functions as a Cathedral today and a number of adjoining parts that act as museums and require the purchase of tickets.
The main cathedral is split up into 3 key parts: the presbytery and the two transepts. The High Altar is a marvelous masterpiece with gold, marble and beautiful mosaics dazzle and delight visitors every day. The Pala d'oro forms the focal point of the altarpiece and leads the way to the High Altar which contains the remains of St Mark.
Both, the inside and outside of the cathedral are adourned with many beautiful mosaics and intricate decorations unlike any other in the world. The opulence and grandeur of the place can only be likened to the Vatican in Rome and you will not want to miss visiting if you happen to be in Venice.
Throughout the Year
St. Mark's Museum
Piazza San Marco