VENICE – LA SERENISSIMA – THE SILENT CITY
AROUND SAN MARCO SQUARE
For centuries, San Marco Square has been the heart of Venice. At the eastern end, there is the church of St. Marco and in front of the Campanila San Marco (98.6 m). From above you can admire the stunning view of the city.
Il piu bel salone del mondo „The most beautiful salon in the world” is the description of Italians for San Marco Square. Here the ceremonial parades took place in honor of the newly elected dogs.
This is the site of spectacular traditional religious festivities, official ceremonies, popular festivals, as well as the fun of the Venice Carnival. Thousands of tourists from around the world visit the market every day.
THE CHURCH OF SAN MARCO
This is the most sumptuous of the hundreds of Venice churches, whose construction lasted for 200 years. The church was adorned with wonderful treasures brought from the subdued countries. In the sec. XIII, four gold-plated equestrian statues, from a Greek quadrilateral, brought from Constantinople, were placed over the central arcade gallery. In the sec. XIV, elaborate gorges of Marmora, made in Gothic style, were added to the top of the church.
Over time, the place has become a fascinating art gallery and a symbol of Venice’s rich history, combining the art of the Orient with that of the West – the Byzantine tradition with the European Gothic style, the monumental sophisticated elegance, the romantic air of travels away with spectacular victories.
In the north of the market there is the Procuratie Vecchie building from the beginning of the sec. XVI, the seat of numerous municipal institutions. Next to it is the Torre dell’Orologio – Clock Tower. The clock dial shows the phases of the moon, the solar system with zodiac signs and a calendar.
The upper part of the tower features the golden lion of St. Mark on a star background, and at the upper level, two huge mounds in bronze shot hit the bell every hour.
6 FASCINATING THINGS
- 1. According to the legend, St. Mark arrived here due to a storm, and an angel told him in his dream that he would find peace here.
- Two venetian merchants stole the body of St. Mark from Alexandria to bury him in the church of San Marco.
- 3. One of the most prominent figures in the history of the city was Venetian merchant Marco Polo, who arrived in China on the Silk Road.
- 4. When Pope Julian II joined the European Catholic forces against Venice, the republic was defeated, but later signed peace treaties with all its enemies.
- 5. In Dogel Palace, there was a „lion’s mouth”, where citizens could introduce information about others, and the authorities carefully looked at them.
- 6. Dogel’s Palace is linked to the prison through the Bridge of Sighs, which crosses a canal. It allowed the convicts to take a last look at the sky, sighing after freedom.
At the western edge of the market is the neoclassical wing of Napoleonica Ala, with an impressive collection of paintings of the Venetian masters. To the south is the renaissance facade of the Procuration Nouveau, a royal palace from Napoleon’s time.
In the direction of the lagoon, the market is bordered by Piazzetta, surrounded by the palaces of Dogello Palace and Libreria, a library with a huge colonnade with two poles. Built in a lagoon, on small swampy islands consolidated with thousands of wooden poles, Venice became a medieval power and one of the main Mediterranean shopping centers.
Subsequently, the independent republic with a history of one thousand years, has developed into a metropolis with architecture, culture and astonishing artistic life. Its inhabitants called it „La Serenissima” – the city of serenity.
Did you know?
The city hosts many interesting events and popular festivals, such as the Grand Canal Regatta (on the first Sunday in September), when the gondolas in all the neighborhoods enter the city
DANGER OF DEATH
Aqua Alta does not just mean interrupting everyday life, but first of all it is a threat to this unique place. When the sirens start in the morning, the inhabitants know they have to prepare for the floods.
Lower areas are at the greatest danger, such as San Marco Square, just 42 cm above the average flow. This unique market is flooded frequently – in November 2008 it was covered with 80 cm of water and in November 1966 it was under 2 m of water.
The polluted water of the sea penetrates the lower floors of the historic buildings inestimabule, causing erosion of the walls with the development of mold and mushrooms. Since 1930, the number of permanent residents of Venice has decreased almost 3 times, while the number of tourists has increased substantially.
According to climatologists’ predictions, global warming will further increase sea and ocean levels, and attention will be more focused on Venice, located in lagoon waters.
PLACES TO VISIT
- Merceria – the main street of the city, with the most elegant exhibitions and shops, between San Marco Square and Rialto.
- Accademia Di Belle Arti – 28 venetian picture halls (Giorgione, Carpaccio, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Guardi and others).
- The Fondaco dei Tedeschi building – was a German inn, now the main post office.
- Murano – a nearby island, the world famous for the glass produced here since the 19th century. XIII; Here are still family workshops.
- Burano – an island in one of the most beautiful areas of the lagoon, with picturesque buildings and famous for the lady’s tradition, preserved today (including a lace school and a museum).
- Lido – an island full of luxury hotels, also called Venice Beach. It hosts the famous Venice Film Festival with its prestigious Golden Lion awards.
TO VISIT VENICE
For centuries, San Marco Square has been the heart of Venice. At the eastern end is St. Marco’s Church and in front of it
San Marco Campanila (98.6 m). From above you can admire the stunning view of the city.