Free Cancellation Up to 48 hours in advance
Duration: 1 hour
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An incredible guided tour which throws you back through the centuries and history of the Glorious Republic of Venice! Grab the opportunity to admire the famous Pala d’Oro.
This incredible guided tour throws you back through the centuries and history of the Glorious Republic of Venice! Grab the opportunity to admire the famous Pala d’Oro by booking The Golden Basilica Tour. St. Mark’s Basilica is one of the most-visited sights in Venice and a must-see for everyone coming to Italy! But with a history that stretches all the way back to the 9th century A.D., it’s also a church with a lot of interesting stories and legends behind it.
The first St Mark's Basilica was a building next to the Doge's Palace, ordered by the doge in 828, and completed by 832; from the same century dates the first St Mark's Campanile (bell tower). The church was burned during a rebellion in 976 when the populace locked Pietro IV Candiano inside to kill him and restored or rebuilt in 978.
There is nothing certain known about the form of these early churches. From perhaps 1063 the present basilica was constructed. The basic shape of the church is a mixture of Italian and Byzantine features. The treatment of the eastern arm as the termination of a basilican building with main apse and two side chapels rather than as an equal arm of a truly centralized structure is clearly notable. During the first half of the 13th century, the narthex and the new facade were constructed, most of the mosaics were completed and the domes were covered with second lead-covered wood for a better blending with the Gothic architecture of the redesigned Doge's Palace.
As with most Venetian buildings, the main structure is built in brick, with the arches given moulded terracotta or brick decoration, with stone columns, capitals, horizontal mouldings, and some other details. The brick mostly remains in place, but covered over except in a few places.
There are more than 85,000 square feet (or 8,000 square meters) of mosaic in St. Mark’s Basilica! You can stare and get lost into details. The mosaics were mastered over 8 centuries, mostly in gold, and the result is astonishing. Enter the basilica at different times of day to see how the light makes the colors, and scenes, look different.
Just another example of the sheer size, and amount of amazing stuff, in St. Mark’s is the number of columns. There are more than 500 columns and capitals in the basilica, and most are Byzantine, dating between the 6th and 11th centuries. Some classical, 3rd-century capitals are mixed in, too!
ou will find yourself exploring one of one of the most majestic cathedrals of the world! Because of our special collaboration with the Curia of Venice you will enjoy privileged access avoiding the queues! During this tour, you will be escorted by a qualified and experienced guide prepared in accordance with the Curia of Venice, enjoy a full visit of this masterpiece of byzantine art, unique in Italy.
You will be pleased by admiring beautiful gold mosaics and marble inlays in the floors, sitting comfortably while our guide will show you the represented biblical scenes, the history and the particularities of this ancient Basilica. Admire La Pala d'Oro, exquisite example of the byzantine art with thousands of gems and precious stones; enjoy the view of the Treasury, a splendor of the religious art collected through the centuries.
After visiting the Basilica you will have the opportunity to visit a Glass Factory close to Saint Mark’s Square where you can see a Glass Craftsman at work. Please note this is a free of charge optional tour of approximately 20 minutes and it is not a part of the tour.
• PLEASE NOTE: From April 1st meeting point is in Calle Larga de l'Ascension, in front of the Post Office. • For Covid-19 precaution the use of the mask is MANDATORY. Customers are required to bring and wear their own masks. • To access to the interior (museums, churches, palaces, restaurants, workshops etc.), all participants over 12 years old must show one of the following documents: - Proof of fool vaccination. - Proof of first vaccination made at least 15 days ago. - Proof of a covid-19 infection in the past 6 months. - Negative test took no more than 48h before the activity starting time. • For security reasons sacks, bags or knapsacks are not allowed inside the Basilica • For the visit of the Basilica suitable clothing is required (no shorts). For security reasons suitcases, backpacks or large bags are not allowed inside the Basilica. Prior to your visit you must deposit them at the Ateneo San Basso (St. Mark’s Square- Calle san Basso). The storage service is free of charge, but please allow sufficient time! • Unfortunately this tour is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. • Comfortable shoes suggested. • During some days of high turnout or for reasons of force majeure (for example high tide or security problems) the waiting time to access St. Mark’s Basilica might be longer than expected. • The tour does not operate in case of exceptional high tide or in case of unplanned religious functions (in these cases it can be postponed to the day after otherwise it will be refunded).