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Culture Overload at Venice's Piazza San Marco

At the height of its power, the Republic of Venice was THE major superpower in the world. Insanely wealthy due to its prime position as conduit between Europe, North Africa, and Asia, Venice has been lavishly decorated by its rulers and inhabitants throughout the centuries to showcase its grandeur.

And in this city-state, the social, political, and religious worlds revolved around the Piazza San Marco. 

Piazzetta di San Marco

* From the Lagoon, the Piazza can be accessed via the Piazzetta di San Marco, which contains the famous Lion of Venice (left), symbol of St. Mark the Evangelist, and Statue of St. Theodore (right), a warrior saint venerated by the Greek Orthodox Church.



Piazzetta di San Marco

* Cafes, restaurants, and fine architecture line the walkway alongside the Lagoon. Perfect for philosophizing and people watching!

Piazzetta di San Marco


Piazza San Marco

* The Piazza is flanked by three long (and rather serious looking) buildings collectively known as the Procuratie. 

Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

* The Procuratie served as the offices and estates of the city-state's administrators, politicians, and noblemen.

Piazza San Marco

* On the fourth side of the Piazza stands the Basilica of St. Mark, Venice's most important and famous church; a perfect example of Italo-Byzantine architecture.

Piazza San Marco


Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco

* Numerous statues of lions flank the Basilica, to the delight of children and social media influencers everywhere!

Piazza San Marco

* Across the Basilica stands the Campanile of St. Mark, also known as THE bell tower of Venice.

Piazza San Marco

* Originally constructed in the 12th Century, the original Campanile unfortunately collapsed in 1902.

Piazza San Marco

* What we see here then is a reconstruction of the original, and a fine one at that!

Piazza San Marco

* Beside the Basilica, proudly stands the Doge's Palace. The Doge was the chief magistrate of Venice, having been elected by city's aristocracy.

Piazza San Marco

* And across the Palace is the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, which holds the greatest collection of classical text in the world.

Piazza San Marco

* Another view of the Doge's Palace and Basilica.

Piazza San Marco

* The Clock Tower is situated directly across the Lagoon. Its main purpose was to link the main social and political center (Piazza) to the main commercial and financial center (the Rialto). 

Piazza San Marco


Piazza San Marco

* Looking back on these photos makes one appreciate how very picturesque this city is!

Piazza San Marco




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