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In 828, Giustiniano Participazio, 11th Doge of the Christian city of Venice seeks a new powerful Christian guard to protect the city and to replace Saint Theodore in order to compete with Rome and its patron saint Saint Pierre. Two Venetian merchants manage to go to steal the crowned relics of Marc saint the evangelist in the small vault of the small fishing port of Bucoles close to Alexandria in Egypt where it had suffered martyrdom. The Saint-Marc basilica then is especially built to shelter its relics to which the catholic church lent at the time of the capacities divine. He becomes thus powerful Patron saint of Venice with his lion like symbol (Tétramorphe) of the city. (The angel for Matthieu Saint, the eagle for Jean Saint and the bull for Luc Saint). Marc had come évangéliser the area in Ier century by boat and had made shipwreck in the lagoon which was going to give birth into 452 in Venice. An angel had appeared to him and had then told him these words: “Peace on you Marc my evangelist, you will find the rest here”.

Detailed article: Marc (evangelist).
The church is devoted into 832. This one is destroyed in the fire of the Palate of the Doges of 976 and is rebuilt into 978.

Starting from XIe century, the church is reorganized on the model of the church of the Saint-Apostles of Constantinople and adopts the outline drawing of Greek cross.

During the following centuries and particularly to XIVe century, Venetian forwardings bring back many columns and planks plundered on ancient monuments and which are used for enrichment of the basilica. Among these elements, most original are the bronze horses of the Roman emperor Constantin Ier (horses of Bronze of Constantin Ier), and a low-relief of porphyry enchased with breast height in the exterior angle representing tétrarques the Romans.

Of its foundation to the fall of the Republic, the basilica Saint Marc is before all the vault of the palate of the Doges. It is only since 1807 that it becomes the cathedral of Venice, supplanting the old cathedral San Pietro (founded into 774) of the island of San Pietro di Castello.

The basilica Marc saint is charged with gold, of an incredible richness (with Pala of oro for part of goldsmithery major) and consisted of more than 4000 m ² of interior and external mosaics.

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Additional Photos by Christian Maertens (Priam1966) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 14 N: 90] (892)
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