"San Marco Square and Basilica" Piazza San Marco Tip by dvideira
Piazza San Marco, Venice: 311 reviews and 517 photos
The Piazza San Marco has been the place of the most important religious and political activities of "La Serenissima Republic of Venice" and, for a long time, the center of Venetian social life.
The only true square in Venice ( other open areas are campi ), was, once, divided in two by the rio Batario. It had its present shape stablished in the XII century for the meeting of Pope Alexander III and the Emperor Barbarossa. The rio Batario was filled in and a small new square was built ( the Piazzeta ).
The first patron saint of Venice was St.Teodoro. In 828 St.Mark the Evangelist substituted him when his mortal remains were smuggled out from Alexandria to take the place of the Greek Saint. First buried in a chapel in the Doge's Palace, a church was built later to house the remains and after many changes, it evolved into St. Marks Basilica.
The construction of the church served to emphasize Venice's break with the Emperor at Byzantium and to underline the city's independence in religious and political matters.
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