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The view of the interior of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice from the matroneum, the former women's gallery. 
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The view of the interior of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice from the matroneum, the former women's gallery.

"Venice for centuries was Europe’s principal gateway between the Orient and the West, so it should come as no surprise that the architectural style for the sumptuously Byzantine Basilica di San Marco, replete with five mosquelike bulbed domes, was borrowed from Constantinople. Legend has it that in 828, two enterprising Venetian merchants smuggled the remains of St. Mark the Evangelist from Egypt by packing them in pickled pork to bypass the scrutiny of Muslim guards. Thus, St. Mark replaced the Greek St. Theodore as Venice’s patron saint, and a small chapel was built on this spot in his honor. Through the centuries (much of what you see was constructed in the 11th c.), wealthy Venetian merchants and politicians alike vied with one another in donating gifts to expand and embellish this church, the saint’s final resting place and, with the adjacent Palazzo Ducale, a symbol of Venetian wealth and power. Exotic and mysterious, it is unlike any other Roman Catholic church. And so it is that the Basilica di San Marco earned its name as the Chiesa d’Oro (Golden Church), with a cavernous interior exquisitely gilded with Byzantine mosaics added over some 7 centuries and covering every inch of both ceiling and pavement." (John Moretti: Frommer's Northern Italy, 2006).

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Mosaics of St. Mark's Basilica in VeniceMosaics of St. Mark's Basilica in VeniceMosaics of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice5 euros per person to see the gallery of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice
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Loggia dei Cavalli — the balcony on the front of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice with a fantastic view of St. Mark's Square. 
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Loggia dei Cavalli — the balcony on the front of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice with a fantastic view of St. Mark's Square.
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St. Mark's BasilicaSt. Mark's BasilicaSt. Mark's BasilicaBronze horses from the Loggia dei CavalliBronze horses from the Loggia dei Cavalli
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The famous Ponte dei Sospiri — the Bridge of Sighs — in Venice, Italy. 
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The famous Ponte dei Sospiri — the Bridge of Sighs — in Venice, Italy.

Rio de Palazzo is the border between the San Marco and Castello sestieri; on the other side of the canal is the long wall of the Doge's Palace. Just above us is the Ponte della Paglia (The Bridge of Straw), always full of tourists looking at the Bridge of Sighs or watching the sun setting over Saint Mark's Basin.

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The Bridge of Sighs, VeniceThe Bridge of Sighs
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On the campanile of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. 
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On the campanile of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

"It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.

The tower is 98.6 metres (323 ft) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark's Square, near the front of the basilica. It has a simple form, the bulk of which is a fluted brick square shaft, 12 metres (39 ft) wide on each side and 50 metres (160 ft) tall, above which is a loggia surrounding the belfry, housing five bells. The belfry is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show the Lion of St. Mark and the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia). The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel. The campanile reached its present form in 1514. The current tower was reconstructed in its present form in 1912 after the collapse of 1902. The tower is currently undergoing structural repairs in order to halt its subsidence." (Wikipedia)

"There are certain surprises in the view from the campanile. One is that none of the water of the city is visible—not a gleam—except a few yards of the Grand Canal and a stretch of the Canale della Giudecca; the houses are too high for any of the by-ways to be seen. Another revelation is that the floor pattern of the Piazza has no relation to its sides. The roofs of Venice we observe to be neither red nor brown, but something between the two. Looking first to the north, over the three flagstaffs and the pigeon feeders and the Merceria clock, we see away across the lagoon the huge sheds of the dirigibles and (to the left) the long railway causeway joining Venice to the mainland as by a thread. Immediately below us in the north-east are the domes of S. Mark's, surmounted by the graceful golden balls on their branches, springing from the leaden roof, and farther off are the rising bulk of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, with its derivative dome and golden balls, the leaning tower of S. Maria del Pianto, and beyond this the cemetery and Murano." (E. V. Lucas: A Wanderer in Venice, New York 1914).

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The church of Santa Maria della Salute from St. Mark's Campanile in VeniceThe domes of Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice
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Inside the church of San Zaccaria in the San Marco district of Venice. 
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Inside the church of San Zaccaria in the San Marco district of Venice.
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Sunday, Mar 25, 2007: St. Andrew's church in Sieciechowice
St. Andrew's church in Sieciechowice
Nie, wnętrza kościoła w Sieciechowicach akurat nigdy nie fotografowałem... (zbooy)
© Szymon "Zbooy" Madej
2005–2014