WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ST. MARK’S SQUARE
St. Mark’s Square is, no doubt, one of the most beautiful and famous squares in the world.
Even if you have seen it thousand times, during your life, it’s always a pleasure looking at, without saying a word. If you see it at night, it is even more beautiful and suggestive.
Its majesty can catch your eye and fill your heart up with wonder.
Probably you visit St. Mark’s Square several times and you know its history, but maybe there is still something you don’t know…
The nowadays shape of St. Mark’s Square is not the same there was in the past. Today this amazing square is the most popular place in Venice, where you can still admire the power of the ancient Serenissima Republic. But originally St. Mark’s Square was supposed to be a huge vegetable garden, crossed by Rio Batario, Rio Zecca and Rio Cavalletto.
Back in time the Doge’s Palace was a castle, with towers and fences, surrounded by a canal. St. Mark’s Basin was the place where ships used to dock and unload goods.
The changing process of St. Mark’s Square began in 826, when the body of Evangelist Mark arrived in Venice. Finally the Basilica started to be built. Unfortunately, in 976 a huge fire destroyed the Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. In 978 the Basilica was rebuilt and the Doge’s Palace too.
In the same year, Doge Pietro I Orseolo commissioned a hospice for infirm pilgrims and needy people, near the bell tower.
In 1264 St. Mark’s Square was floored in a herringbone pattern with bricks. From that moment on, the square have started to become that magic palace we can see today.