San Marco Basilica gets Turnstiles

San Marco - Jewel of Venice

Bascilia San Marco – Piazza San Marco, Venice Italy

Security and the shear number of people in line each day to see the basilica has driven the city of Venice to install turnstiles at the entrance of San Marco Basilica along with surveillance cameras. There will be a limit of 300 people in the cathedral at any one time. The Venice Foundation approved the use of this new technology as a way to protect the priceless artwork, mosaic tiles and building.

Controlling the flow of traffic

Controlling the flow of traffic

The present day Basilica was ordered by Doge Giustiniano Participazio in 828/29 AD when Venetian merchants hijacked the relics of Mark the Evangelist (Saint Mark) from Alexandria and served as the private chapel of the Doge. St Mark arrival upsurped St. Theodore as the patron saint of Venice. It has been remodeled and enlarged throughout its history. It was burned in a rebellion in 976 when the locals revolted against Doge Pietro Candiano IV and restored under the successor, Doge Domenico Contarini. The basilica as we know it today dates from the mid 11th century, with 1093 possible the date of it’s consecration.

San Marco Chiesa

The architecture is a mix of Italian and Byzantine, reflecting the influence of La Serenissima’s trading partners in the East. The interior is based on the Constantine’s Church in Constantinople.

The heightened security reflects a sign of the times and is in effect during any large events, like Carnevale, New Year’s Eve, Redentore and national celebrations. It is a necessary to protect vandalism or damage from the sheer number of people. With an average visit time by tourist of 10 minutes, the delay at the turnstiles will be minimal.

Security at San Marco

Opening Times and Rules
Visitors are recommended to respect the sacred place, in particular:
Clothes must be appropriate for a place of worship;
– You cannot enter the basilica with luggage. Luggage must be deposited in Ateneo San Basso (Piazzetta dei Leoncini – in front of the Gate of Flowers, north façade);
Photos and filming are forbidden;
Loud explanations are not allowed, the use of earphones is permitted.

November – March/April (Easter):

Basilica: 9.45 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. (entrance free)
St. Mark’s Museum
: 9.45 a.m. – 4.45 p.m. (entrance: ticket 5 € , reduced 2,50 € only for groups with more than 15 people)
Pala d’oro: 9.45 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m. (entrance: ticket 2 € , reduced 1 € only for groups with more than 15 people)
Treasury: 9.45 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.(entrance: ticket 3 € , reduced 1,50 € only for groups with more than 15 people)

March/April (Easter) – November:

Basilica: 9.45 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance free)
St. Mark’s Museum
: 9.45 a.m. – 4.45 p.m. (entrance: ticket 5 € , reduced 2,50 € only for groups with more than 15 people)
Pala d’oro: 9.45 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. (entrance: ticket 2 € , reduced 1 € only for groups with more than 15 people)
Treasury: 9.45 a.m. – 5.00 p.m. – Sunday and holidays: 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.(entrance: ticket 3 € , reduced 1,50 € only for groups with more than 15 people)

Note that the basilica is free, but to access the Museum and the Treasury, there is an admission ticket. The 5 Euro you pay for the entrance to the Museum is well worth it to stand on the balcony and view the entire square from this perspective. So leave your backpack at the hotel and head for the lines to see this amazing building and walk in the paths of the Doges of Venice.

San Marco Basilica

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