St Mark’s Basilica Inside

What to See Inside The St. Mark’s Basilica?

St. Mark's Basilica inside is a feast for the eyes, with every inch of its walls and ceilings adorned with intricate mosaics, frescoes, and sculptures. As soon as visitors step through the doors of the basilica, they are transported into a world of opulence and beauty. One of the most striking features inside St Mark's Basilica is the golden mosaics that cover the ceilings and walls.

These mosaics depict scenes from the Bible, as well as portraits of various saints and religious figures. The colors and details in these mosaics are breathtaking, and visitors will find themselves staring up in awe at the intricate designs. Another must-see feature of the basilica is the Pala d'Oro, an exquisite altarpiece made of gold, silver, and precious gems.

This masterpiece of Byzantine art is located behind the high altar and is considered one of the most important examples of religious art in the world. Visitors should also take the time to admire the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the walls and columns of the basilica. These works of art were created by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, and they represent a unique blend of Byzantine and Western European styles.


The mosaics inside St Mark's Basilica are one of its most prominent features. The walls and ceilings are covered with intricate patterns and scenes, depicting biblical stories, religious figures, and historical events. The mosaics are made up of tiny pieces of glass, called tesserae, which are arranged in intricate patterns to create a stunning effect. The most famous of these mosaics is the "Pala d'Oro".

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In addition to the mosaics, St. Mark's Basilica is also adorned with beautiful frescoes. These paintings in St. Mark's Basilica are created by applying pigment onto wet plaster, resulting in a vibrant and long-lasting work of art. The frescoes in St. Mark's Basilica depict scenes from the life of Christ, as well as portraits of various saints and other religious figures.

Marble Floors

The floors of St. Mark's Basilica are made of beautiful marble, inlaid with intricate designs and patterns. The marble is sourced from various regions of Italy and is arranged in a way that creates a stunning visual effect. The floors are particularly impressive in their complexity and attention to detail.


At the heart of St. Mark's Basilica is the high altar, which is adorned with various precious stones and metals. The St. Mark's Basilica altar is flanked by two columns, which are believed to have been taken from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The high altar is the focal point of the church and is an impressive work of art in its own right.

Also, check out highlights of St. Mark's Basilica

Bronze Horses

One of the most recognizable features of St. Mark's Basilica is the four bronze horses that stand atop its facade. These horses in St. Mark's Basilica are believed to be over 2,000 years old and were originally brought to Venice from Constantinople in the 13th century. The horses have been restored numerous times over the centuries and are now housed inside the basilica to protect them from the elements.


The pulpit in St. Mark's Basilica is a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture. It was created by the sculptor Niccolò di Pietro in the 14th century and depicts scenes from the life of Christ. The pulpit is made of marble and is supported by intricate columns and arches.

Choir Stalls

The choir stalls in St. Mark's Basilica are made of carved wood and are decorated with intricate designs and scenes from the Bible. The choir stalls are located in the apse of the church and are used by the choir during religious services.


The treasury in St. Mark's Basilica houses a collection of religious relics and precious objects, including gold and silver chalices, crosses, and other religious artifacts. The treasury is located behind the high altar and is open to visitors for viewing.

The Narthex

The narthex is the entrance hall to St. Mark's Basilica, located at the west end of the building. The narthex contains beautiful mosaics and sculptures, as well as a museum that showcases St. Mark's Basilica's history and art.

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What are the main attractions inside St Mark's Basilica?

  • St. Mark's Tomb: The resting place of Saint Mark the Evangelist, whose relics are enshrined in the basilica.
  • Golden Mosaics: The basilica is renowned for its stunning golden mosaics covering over 8,000 square metres.
  • Pala d'Oro: An exquisite altarpiece adorned with gold, enamels, and gemstones is a masterpiece of Byzantine craftsmanship.
  • Treasury: It houses a remarkable collection of relics, religious artefacts, and precious objects collected over centuries.
  • St. Mark's Museum: The museum features original bronze horses and other treasures from the basilica's history.
  • Marble Floors: The St Mark's basilica inside has intricately designed marble floors with geometric patterns and animal motifs, showcasing the craftsmanship of Venetian artisans.

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What famous artworks are inside St. Mark's Basilica?

  • Pala d'Oro: It is a stunning altarpiece made of gold, enamel, and gemstones which is considered a masterpiece of Byzantine craftsmanship.
  • Golden Mosaics: Extensive mosaics depicting biblical scenes, covering over 8,000 square metres of the basilica’s interior.
  • Madonna Nicopeia: Inside St Mark's Basilica, Venice there is a revered Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary, enshrined in the basilica.
  • Ascension Dome: The dome features mosaics illustrating the Ascension of Christ, a highlight of the basilica's artwork.
  • The Throne of St. Mark: It is an intricately carved marble chair believed to have belonged to the evangelist.

What is the best time to visit St. Mark's Basilica?

The best time to visit St. Mark's Basilica is early in the morning, preferably around 9:00 a.m. At this time, the crowds are usually smaller, allowing for a more peaceful and enjoyable experience. Additionally, visiting on weekdays rather than weekends can further reduce the number of visitors.

How big is St. Mark's Basilica?

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice measures approximately 76.5 metres (251 feet) in length and 62.5 metres (205 feet) in width. The central dome reaches a height of about 43 metres (141 feet). This iconic church, known for its spectacular design and interior, is one of the finest examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.

Who is buried in the St. Mark Basilica?

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is the final resting place of Saint Mark the Evangelist. According to tradition, his relics were smuggled from Alexandria, Egypt, to Venice by two Venetian merchants in 828 AD. The basilica was built to house these relics, making it a significant religious and historical site.

What are the opening hours for St. Mark's Basilica?

The opening hours of St. Mark's Basilica are daily from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM, but hours may vary on holidays and during special events.

How to reach St. Mark's Basilica?

You can reach St. Mark's Basilica in the following ways:

  • By Air: If you are arriving by plane, you will land at Marco Polo Airport. From there, you can take a bus or a taxi to Venice's city center.
  • By Train: Venice is well-connected to other cities in Italy by train. If you are arriving by train, you will most likely arrive at Santa Lucia Station, which is located near the Grand Canal.
  • By Water: Venice is known for its extensive network of canals. You can reach St. Mark's Basilica by taking a Vaporetto (water bus) or a water taxi. The nearest vaporetto stop to the basilica is San Marco-San Zaccaria.
  • By Foot: Once you reach the city center, you can explore Venice on foot. St. Mark's Basilica is located in St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco). Follow the signs or ask for directions to the square. The basilica is hard to miss as it is one of the main attractions in Venice.
  • By Gondola: Another unique way to reach St. Mark's Basilica is by taking a gondola ride. Gondolas are traditional Venetian rowing boats, and you can hire one to take you to the basilica while enjoying the beautiful canals of Venice.

Are there any guided tours available for St. Mark's Basilica inside?

Yes, there are many guided tours available for St Mark's Basilica inside, both group and private. These tours can provide in-depth information about the basilica's history, artwork, and architecture.

How long does it take to tour St. Mark's Basilica?

A typical tour of St. Mark's Basilica lasts about 30 minutes to an hour, but this can vary depending on how much time visitors spend exploring the different parts of the basilica.

Can visitors take photos inside St Mark's Basilica?

Yes, visitors are allowed to take photos inside St Mark's Basilica, but flash photography and tripods are not permitted.

Can visitors touch any of the artwork or sculptures inside St. Mark's Basilica?

No, visitors are not allowed to touch any of the artwork or sculptures inside St Mark's Basilica inside, as this could damage the delicate and historic pieces.

Are there any restrictions on what visitors can wear inside St Mark's Basilica?

Yes, visitors are required to dress modestly and respectfully according to the dress code of St. Mark's Basilica. This means covering shoulders and knees and avoiding revealing clothing or hats.

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