St Mark’s Basilica, Venice part 1… (Basilica di San Marco)… Basílica de San Marcos, Venecia parte 1

Text credits:http://www.sacred-destinations.com/italy/venice-san-marco
St Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco in Italian) is the most famous of the many churches of Venice and one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. Located just off the Grand Canal, the gleaming basilica overlooks the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and adjoins the Doge’s Palace. San Marco is a cathedral, but has not always been so: it was the Doge’s chapel until it became the seat of the Archbishop of Venice in 1807.
History of the Basilica of St. Mark
In 828, Venetian merchants stole the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist from their original resting place in Alexandria, Egypt. It is said the Venetians hid the relics in a barrel under layers of pork to get them past Muslim guards. The adventure is depicted in the 13th-century mosaic above the door farthest left of the front entrance of the Basilica.
The relics were initially housed in a temporary chapel within the Doge’s Palace, but a more substantial church was built to shelter the valuable relics in 829-32. This burned in a rebellion against Doge Pietro Candiano IV in 976, but was restored by Doge Domenico Contarini (d. 1070). The present basilica, which incorporates the earlier buildings, was completed around 1071.
While the basic structure of the building has changed very little over the last millennium, its decoration was regularly modified after its completion. The succeeding centuries, especially the 14th, all contributed to its adornment, and Venetian vessels from the Orient brought a virtually continous supply of columns, capitals, or friezes from ancient buildings to adorn the basilica.
The exterior brickwork was gradually covered with various marbles and carvings, some much older than the building itself. A new frontage was constructed and the domes were covered with higher wooden domes in order to blend in with the Gothic architecture of the redesigned Doge’s Palace.
The Basilica di San Marco was the chapel of the Doges for most of its history, but in 1807, it became the cathedral of Venice.

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Créditos del texto: http://www.venecia.es/visitar-venecia/san-marco/basilica-de-san-marcos.htm
BASÍLICA DE SAN MARCOS
La basílica de San Marcos es una de las catedrales más bonitas de Europa y del mundo. Es el fruto de diferentes estilos, y conserva aspectos tan orientales que pueden dejar atónitos a los turistas por su particularidad y esplendor. El edificio actual es el resultado de una larga historia que empieza en el año 828, cuando dos mercaderes robaron el cuerpo de San Marcos de la Tumba de Alejandría en Egipto y lo trajeron a Venecia para donárselo al dux.
Para acoger los restos del Santo, que nombraron protector de la ciudad, construyeron una iglesia siguiendo el modelo de la basílica de los Doce Apóstoles de Constantinopla, que fue destruida el año 976 durante la insurrección del Dux Candiano IV. Volvieron a construir otra iglesia, que en 1063 sustituyeron por una tercera más espectacular, para que representara el poder de la próspera República veneciana, la actual Basílica de San Marcos. Fue construida respetando el modelo de dos basílicas de la antigua ciudad imperial de Bizancio (los Santos Apóstoles y Santa Sofía), con una planta central con forma de cruz griega, con cinco grandes cúpulas y una particular mezcla de arte antiguo y oriental.
Con el tiempo, la Basílica sufrió otras modificaciones, sobre todo en cuanto a la decoración: los arcos góticos apuntados, el arco de Sant’Alipio, las esculturas y los mosaicos de los siglos XVII y XVIII de la fachada principal, los bajorrelieves que representan las profesiones y los signos zodiacales del portón central, los mármoles que provienen de Oriente, las figuras de pórfido de los Tetrarcas y los caballos de San Marcos. El resultado es una estupefaciente mezcla de estilos.

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