Saint Mark’ s Square, a 360° view
Saint’Marks Square is surely a place that can’t be missed, an exhibition of rare and unique beauty appear on a 360° view in front of the visitors, the Saint Mark’s Church, the bell tower, the “procuratie” and the Napoleonic wing, the clock tower and the two blacks.
The Church, a Romanic Byzantine style was born initially as a mausoleum of the Patron Saint, it has 5 domes, marbles and mosaics to embellish the façade, inside, decorations and wall of golden leaf mosaics represents tales of the Patron Saint.
The bell tower is the highest point of the city, 98.6 meters tall, from the top there is a unique and breathtaking view of the isle, it was originally built as a watchtower and a lighthouse in the IX century.
Completely rebuilt after its collapse in 1500 du to an earthquake with a shape that it’ s almost similar to the actual, collapsed again in 1900 and greatly rebuilt “ where it was and how it was ”, as the Venetian witty remark.
A curiosity, during the Venetian Carnival from the top of the tower start the traditional flight of the Angel, the Sunday before the Thursday a woman dressed as an angel and safely tied to a rope fly down to the Dogi’s palace lobby, the traditional show is a good wish to the carnival that call many people from all the world.
The “Procuratie” are renaissance style buildings and originally hosted the Saint’ t Marks Attorney, institutional representative, during the Serenissima Republic.
Those are build along the Square limit and now hosts typical artisan shops as laces, hand blown glass and bars with orechestra, the Napoleonic wing in front of the Basilica has been built by Napoleone to restore part of the procuratie that become a royal palace, that’s why part of it was then named as the French leader.
Finally the clock tower, also a renaissance style palace, its arcade allow to enter into the square from the “Mercerie” so called because during the Republic there where many shops selling precious merchandise coming from distant ports. Today the Mercerie are site for various commercial activities, mostly murano glass shops and most modern cloth and gift shops.
An unusual peculiarity of the bell tower is on its singular mechanism, a sort of musical box traditionally activated during the epiphany, every hour wooden statue representing the three kings and some characters of the nativity come out from a small opening.
On the top of the tower there are two big statue of black men called “mori” those are made in brass and represent the past times and the time to come, the bearded one, the older, represent the past and beat 5 minutes before the hour and the beardless one, the younger, beat the hour 5 minutes past the hour and represent the time that has to come.