No trip to Venice is complete without paying a visit to the city’s largest church, St. Mark’s Basilica.
Over the centuries, the monumental structure has become a symbol of the city’s proud history. Its enormous scale and polished details required the labor of thousands of men over a period spanning hundreds of years. Succeeding generations built upon the work of their predecessors to make the Basilica ever more impressive. As a result, the architecture and artworks found in and around it feature a combination of classic Venetian, Romanesque, and Byzantine influences, reflecting the prevailing trends at different periods. Thus, it can be said that the Basilica of San Marco is a testament to the changing cultural landscape frozen in stone.
The front of the church is hailed as a work of genius combining an astonishing array of structural and decorative pieces that feature scenes taken from biblical teachings. In one interesting relief, an aged man is seen with his hand in his mouth. It is believed to be modeled after the architect himself, punished after boasting that he can design a church that could surpass St. Mark’s Basilica in beauty and grandeur.