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Richly adorned with gold mosaics, intricate carvings and undulating marble arches, Saint Mark's Basilica is a glorious example of Byzantine architecture, crested by a series of glistening domes. The basilica was originally built in the 9th Century to house the mortal remains of Saint Mark. Destroyed in 932 CE, the church was later rebuilt to a more opulent design, and served as the Doge's chapel until 1807 when it replaced the Basilica di San Pietro in Castello as the cathedral of the Archdiocese. Although the architectural plan of the church has remained largely unchanged since the 12th Century, generous adornments were added over the years, creating one of Italy's most impressive collections of ecclesiastical art. Inside, the ceilings are a sea of gold mosaics, glimmering above lavish sculptures and intriguing architectural details. One of Venice's most iconic structures, the Saint Mark's Basilica sits amid Piazza San Marco at one end of the Grand Canal.
Designed by 20-year-old Longhena, this church is a masterpiece of 17th-century architecture. The dominating feature is its octagonal dome, which contains a lantern showing an image of the Madonna; while the smaller dome has a statue of San Marco. The interior consists of a nave, three chapels and a floor made of multicolored marble with a design of five roses in the center. The magnificent altar, also designed by Longhena, is particularly ornate. To its right is Tintoretto's Le Nozze di Cana, while the ceiling of the vestry is adorned with paintings by Titian.
In the decade of 1470s, Virgin Mary's image Miracoli was credited with performing numerous miracles including bringing back a dead person to life. To commemorate this holy symbol, architect Pietro Lombardo constructed the iconic Santa Maria dei Miracoli church in the 1480s using only marble. Today, it stands as a relic, being one of the first monuments built using Venetian Renaissance architecture. Its stylish marble façade and interiors made from gray, pink and pure white marble draw tourists and locals alike for repeated visits. It is also remarkable for its architectural elements tweaked to give the impression of a spacious church, utilizing pilasters, arches and arcades in a clever manner. Due to its notable interior design, it is also a favored destination for fashionable weddings.
Construction of this church started at the end of the 14th Century by the Dominican friars. It was completed at the beginning of the 15th Century. The remains of 25 chief magistrates are buried here and over these centuries the church has earned the status of a minor basilica. The sepulchral monuments are in the care of the Lombardi family and the monuments of Nicolo Marcello, Pietro Lombardo and Pietro Mocenigo are masterpieces by the same sculptor, whose works occupy the whole left side of the entrance. Also impressive is the monument erected in the honor of Andrea Vendramin, and the paintings by Veronese and Piazzetta. A beautiful juxtaposition of Gothic as well as Renaissance-style architecture, Chiesa di Santi Giovanni e Paolo is a must visit for serenity and peace.
Venice is a beautiful city not only because it is adorned with picturesque canals but also because it is home to some of the most wonderful architectural marvels of centuries past. One such piece of wonder is the San Giacomo di Rialto. If you are strolling around the Rialto Market, this high-rise clock is hard to miss as it is located above the tribunal, near the main entrance of the church. This is an extraordinary 24-hour clock and the original porch show influences of the Gothic style of architecture. The clock oozes a beautiful golden color when the sun goes down.
Built in the middle of the 13th century, the construction of Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari was extended and continued until the 16th century. The church houses paintings by Titian, such as l'Assunta and La Madonna di Cà Pesaro. Within the chapel, you will find Bellini's Madonna in trono. It also contains the tombs of Titian, Canova, Monteverdi, and Francesco Foscari. In spite of its many historical and artistic treasures, the church's large dimensions make it seem empty. Services are held daily. This is the place where you can thoroughly appreciate religious art of the Renaissance.
Located at the Island of Torcello is Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta, an ancient church built following the Veneto-Byzantine style of architecture. This church dates back to the 11th Century and includes elements from 400 years earlier. The beautiful ambo on the left comprises of certain parts of the original 6th-century church. The luminosity of the mosaics that adorn the apse and, above all, the image of The Last Judgement on the west wall (which is rumored to be a reconstruction) are incredible. There is also a bell tower located close by to the church, which forms an important landmark of the lagoon. This is a great getaway from the otherwise bustling city of Venice, to enjoy some solitude and feel spiritual.