21 – Museo di San Marco
21 – Museo di San Marco, established at the end of the 19th century and recently extended, is located inside the Basilica di San Marco.
Recently re-opened, after it underwent a significant extension of the Museum’s floor area; between the Basilica’s vestibule and the former Doge’s “Sala dei Banchetti” (Banquet Hall).
It houses artifacts of various kinds and origins, that belong to the church. One of the most prestigious works is the “quadriga” (Four Horses) of St. Mark’s; moved from its original position in the centre of the external facade, after the last restoration.
After your tour, spend time on the outdoor terrace; which has great panoramic views of the Piazza San Marco and across to the Bacino.
Above: The Basilica di San Marco in St Mark’s Square. Directly above the five main e arches is the “Loggia dei Cavalli“; accessed through door, near to right hand side Flagpole.
- Artifacts of various kinds and origins, that belong to the church
- The original Four Horses of St Mark’s (quadriga)
- Get close up to the wonderful wall and ceiling mosaics
- Outdoor terrace; with great panoramic views of the Piazza San Marco and across to the Bacino.
- Suggested time: 1-2 hours
- Entrance fee: Euro 5
21 – Museo di San Marco – What to see
Accessed by a narrrow and fairly steep staircase, leading up from the right hand side of the Basilica’s atrium, the museum transports visitors to the level of the church’s rear mosaics and out onto the Loggia dei Cavalli; the terrace above the main facade’s wonderful arches. The four magnificent bronze horses externally positioned here, are actually reproductions of the precious 2nd-century originals; plundered from Constantinople’s hippodrome and displayed inside.
Architecture buffs, will revel in the beautifully rendered drawings and scale models of the basilica. In the displays of 13th – to 16th-century mosaic fragments, the Prophet Abraham is all ears and raised eyebrows; as though scandalised by Venetian gossip. Positioned above an interior balcony, Salviati’s restored 1542–52 mosaic of the Virgin’s family tree, shows Mary’s ancestors perched on branches; alternately chatting and ignoring one another, as families do.
A corridor leads into a section of the Palazzo Ducale, housing the doge’s banquet hall; where dignitaries wined and dined among lithe stucco figures of Music, Poetry and Peace. In the Sala dei Banchetti, there is the weekday altar-piece by Paolo Veneziano, a painting on wood dating to the mid-14th century; illustrating stories from the life of St. Mark. It was used long ago to cover the “pala d’oro“.
The Museum also contains Persian carpets, liturgical vestments, illuminated manuscripts with the texts of St. Mark liturgies and fragments of ancient mosaics; removed during restoration in the 19th century. Then there are tapestries in wool, with episodes from the Passion of Christ and others in silk and silver; illustrating stories of St. Mark’.
Note: For my comprehensive and illustrated posts on the Basilica and the Four Horses of St Mark’s; please see my linked posts below
BASILICA AND MUSEUM OPENING TIMES
October – March/April (Easter):
Basilica: 9.30 – 5.00 (last admission 4.45)
Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 4.00 (entrance free)
St. Mark’s Museum: 9.45– 4.45 €5
Pala d’Oro: 9.45 – 4.00 Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 4.00 €2
Treasury: 9.45 – 4.00 Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 4.00 €3
March/April (Easter) – November:
Basilica: 9.45 – 5.00 (last admission 4.45) Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 5.00 (entrance free)
St. Mark’s Museum: 9.45 – 4.45 €5
Pala d’Oro: 9.45 – 5.00 Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 5.00 €2
Treasury: 9.45- 5.00 Sunday and holidays: 2.00 – 5.00 €3
Due to inflation and changing health regulations, please check prices and entry details
Vaporetto: Vallaresso (San Marco) or San Zaccaria
Note for visiting the Basilica: To skip the line at the basilica entrance during the busiest times of the year; reserve your arrival on the website, at no extra cost.
Remember that this is a sacred place: guards will deny admission to people in shorts, sleeveless dresses and tops.
To widen your experience and enjoyment before visiting, please see my comprehensive and illustrated posts, linked below:
Top 25 Museums of Venice
Select your museum and click on the link below:
21 – Museo di San Marco (not linked)
21 – Museo di San Marco 21 – Museo di San Marco 21 – Museo di San Marco 21 – Museo di San Marco