The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge’s Palace.
Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has only been the city’s cathedral since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, formerly at San Pietro di Castello. For its opulent design, gilded Byzantine mosaics, and its status as a symbol of Venetian wealth and power, from the 11th century on the building has been known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold).
The interior is based on a Greek cross, with each arm divided in three naves and emphasized by a dome of its own. This is based on Justinian’s Basilica of the Apostles in Constantinople. The marble floor (12th century, but underwent many restorations) is entirely tessellated in geometric patterns and animal designs. The techniques used were opus sectile and opus tessellatum. The lower register of walls and pillars is completely covered with polychrome marble slabs. The transition between the lower and the upper register is delimited all around the basilica by passageways which largely substituted the former galleries.
Photo Credit: Mikael