Saint Mark’s Basilica



Address:  San Marco, 328; 30124 Venice 


Monday through Saturday:  9:30 AM to 5:15 PM 

Sunday: 2:00 PM to 5:15 PM 


History of the Church: 

When you have a vision of Venice, Italy; it is hard to imagine the city without Saint Mark’s Basilica and its square.  The church that dominates the Venice’s skyline is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Patriarchate of Venice. 

The construction of the church began in the year 829 AD and was completed by 836 AD.  And it has been maintained and expanded ever since.  

The origins of the church are said to be when two Venetian merchants removed Saint Mark’s body from Alexandria Egypt and brought it over to Venice.  The church has subsequently houses relics of Saint Mark. 

The design of the church was taken from Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.  This was a break from the traditional architecture.  The church was centrally planned as opposed to rectangular plans of the time. 

In the year 976, the church was severely damaged during the uprising against the Doge Pietro IV Candiano, but rebuilt as the original architecture. 

Pala d’Oro 

The Byzantine alter screen of gold is studded with hundreds of gems.  It is 3 meters wide and 2 meters tall.  It is made of gold and silver. 187 enamel plaques and 1,927 gems. 

Gems that make up this mix are: 526 pearls, 320 emeralds, 255 sapphires, 330 garnets, 183 amethysts, 175 agates, 75 rubies, 34 topazes, and more. 

To see Pala d’Oro it is a separate ticketed site if you buy your tickets directly from the church.  If you are interested in seeing that, please make sure you ask for the add on experience. 

Museum Loggia dei Cavalli 

Also known as the Balcony of Horses is named after the renounced statue of Horses of Saint Mark.  They are also referred to as The Quadriga and were situated in the balcony of the church.  They were artifacts taken during the crusades from Constantinople.  

The museum also provides some additional artifacts for visitors and is worth checking out while you are at St. Mark’s Basilica.  


There are a number of ways, you can visit the Saint Mark’s Basilica, and while you are able to purchase tickets directly from the church, the lines to get in are rather long.  We recommend, skip the line tickets that are sold.  They will include access to all of the sites within the church.  

However, if you like to purchase tickets directly please note the following: 

  • St Mark Basilica:  3 Euros 
  • Pala d’Oro: 5 Euros
  • Museum Loggia dei Cavalli:  7 Euros 
  • Bell Tower:  10 Euros 
    • Children 6 and younger are free for all activities listed above 

Front of line Passes: 

Should you choose to get skip the line tickets, there are variety of passes available.  You can choose a skip the line ticket for Saint Mark’s Basilica here: 

Skip the line tickets can be purchased here

After Hours Small Group Tour 

Another option for visiting Saint Marks Basilica would be to do a small group after hours tour.  The tour is limited to less than 20 people and you will get to see the church and Doge’s Palace (optional add on) without the crowds. 

After Hours Tickets can be purchased here. 

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