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July 9: Venice August 3, 2010

Posted by msmith78 in Uncategorized.

Piazza San Marco

Chronology of the Square

  1. Bascilica
  2. Palace Ducal
  3. Camponile
  4. Right Side of the square with the Procurate (secret service on ground level)
  5. Mint
  6. Library
  7. Logetta
  8. Left Side of the square
  9. Napoleon’s wing to frame off the square opposite San Marco’s


The orthodox faith promotes the holiness of images and their ability to perform miracles. The western church determined at the Council of Trent that idolatry was to be avoided at all costs and that pictures were only representations to help you reflect; not direct links in themselves.


The portion of the palace on the square side was completed in the 15th century while the side on the water was completed in the 14th century. Each capital is unique with its own design program.

Porta Della Carta

This door represents Venetian Gothic at its best. The names on the door were added later because no craftsmen at the time it its completion would have signed his work.


He was chosn to build the library and the mint which are attached to each other. Rather than giving them a flush face he wanted to show the difference between the two buildings functions by adopting two different design programs. The mint was the Fort Knox of the republic so it follows the style of the bankers homes in Venice with the rustification on the bottom with Doric columns. The library is much more delicate in design without the level of rustificaiton of the mint.

Doge’s Palace

The palace was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Palladio did submit a more classical design but it lost in the competition.

San Marco

This church assumed the area and the role of two previous churches. In about 828 the Venetians brought back the remains of St. Mark from Alexandria. The Doge initially had them put inside his palace chapel, and once the first Romanesque base of San Marco was complete the remains were relocated, but they were still considered under the Doge’s protection. After a fire in 979 the church was rebuilt and enlarged. The current structure was consecrated in 1094. From 1202 to 1204 the fourth crusade brought huge wealth  to the city, and much of the plunder was used to decorate San Marcos. The brick Romanesque church was covered in marble, the narthex was extended to its current ‘L’ shape, and the wood and led eastern inspired domes were added during the 13th century. In the 15th century the Gothic pediments and central window were added. The Mosaics on the interior have been worked on and repaired since the construction of the church.

Santa Maria Formosa

San Giovanni Campo

This society was geographically not skill or guild based. This was a hospital they built for the area. These organizations would provide social security and hospitals and support widows and orphans. The perspectives of the lions on the sides of the door are more pictorial then architectural.

Basilica Giovanni E. Paolo

Santa Maria Del Miracori

Peitro Lombardo and Caducci worked on it from 1481 to 1489. It is in the classical style which was an imported style for the area.

San Fransisco Della Vigna

Sansovino designed this church. The façade was adapted to the church of Sansovino’s design. The church was designed based on musical proportions. The Franciscan brother Fransesco Goergy provided the algorithm with which the church was designed; he was a specialist in musica proportions. It is a basilica but the side aisles have completely isolated chapels.

San Salvatoria Monte

This is in the puritan classical style.


Looking at the belief of John Ruskin that the beauty of something is measured by the amount of work that can be seen was put into the object, the level of detail and the apparent devotion of the people crafting the pieces to the glory of their product and their God leaves San Marco a masterpiece. Every inch of that building has been touched with working hands to make it beautiful, and therefore every inch is beautiful. I whole heartedly agree with Ruskin but with another addition. The number of hands that have worked on the pieces as well as the number of people that have loved the piece throughout time also solidifies the beauty of a piece of art or building .



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