- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 06 Mar 2018
St Marks Basilica
St. Mark’s Basilica is a Roman Catholic church in Piazza San Marco, Venice, northern Italy. It is one of the most recognisable churches in Italy and one of the best examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. It is connected to the Doge’s Palace and the campanile.
The first church to be built on the site was ordered by the Doge in 828, to house the body of St. Mark. The present basilica was formed during redevelopment around 1063-1094 and was intended as the Doge’s Chapel. In 1807, it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice.
The architectural design of the basilica is celebrated for its articulate nature, with a basic structure that has not much altered since the 11th century. The central dome is supported through spandrels and large vaults on four pillars. The two arms of the Greek cross-shape are divided into a nave and two aisles. Each arm has a dome of its own as well as the main dome above the intersection.
The narthex and the new façade were constructed in the first half of the 13th century. Around this same time, most of the mosaics were completed and the domes were covered with secondary domes, positioned higher, and made of lead-covered timber to blend in better with the redesigned Gothic architecture of the Doge’s Palace.
The basilica contains more than 500 columns and capitals, most dating from between the 6th and 11th centuries. The 12th century marble floor is entirely tessellated in geometric patterns and designs of animals. The upper levels are decorated with bright mosaics covering an area of approximately 8,000 sq. m. Most of these mosaics incorporate gold glass tesserae which creates a shimmering effect.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.