venerdì 4 giugno 2010

The monuments of Area Marciana

Saint Mark square is the center of city life and maximum urban complex of Venice, takes its name from the basilica built in the ninth century and dedicated to the holy name. The basilica is the best example of Venetian art - Byzantine church was rebuilt on the model of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. Above the main entrance are the famous “Quadriga”, coming from the hippodrome in Constantinople. Currently, the original is preserved in the museum of St. Mark inside the basilica and was replaced by a copy. Opposite the church's bell tower, affectionately called "El Paron de Casa", is 98.6 meters high and is one of the highest towers of Italy. On its top there is a golden statue of the Archangel Gabriel, mounted on a rotating platform that functions as a weathervane. Next to the basilica there is the famous Ducale Palace, rebuilt in the XIV - XV centuries by master Venetian, Tuscan and Lombard in place of a previous building. It is considered highest expression of Venetian Gothic architecture. In the past it was the residence of the Doges, but now has turned into a museum. Another monument at the entrance of the square is the clock tower on top of it there are the Mori, two bronze statues representing two pastors with a bat flying hours on a large bell. It is noticeable that never plays the exact time, but twice: the first five minutes in advance the exact time and the old man who represents the time that has passed, while the young man, five minutes after right time, to represent the time to come. The square is bordered on either side by the Procuratie that fall into old, new, brand new also known as Ala Napoleonica. The old apartments were used by the prosecutors, the highest office of state after the Doge. Partially damaged by fire were rebuilt, currently there are shops and offices. The new, during the Italian kingdom, were used as the royal palace. Now house the Museo Correr, the Museo del Risorgimento and the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. In addition to them there is placed under the eighteenth-century coffee Florian. The newest, or Ala Napoleonica , were built at the behest of Napoleon, after razing the church of San Gimignano. Since 1922 hosting the Correr Museum. As already mentioned, in the new Procuratie there is Sansovino library, also known as the Biblioteca Marciana. It is situated opposite the Ducal Palace, contains one of the finest collections of Greek manuscripts, Latin and eastern parts of the world and is one of the largest libraries of Italy, which function as State archives. Columns of San Marco and San Teodoro, are placed at the entrance to the pier of the Marciana and surmounted by statues of the city's patron St. Mark the Evangelist and St. Theodore.

The past functions and the actual functions

The square has always been the center of city life in Venice, both in the cultural sphere, both in political and economic. The Ducal Palace was the seat of government and supreme courts of the Republic, and prison. Between the two columns of Mark and Theodore executions took place instead, and the Pietra del Bando laws and decrees were announced, then posted on the door of the Charter. The basilica was the center instead of the religious ceremonies of state due to the presence of precious relics. He also had the function of the ducal chapel led by the Doge who appointed bishops. The power and wealth of the church of St. Mark were such that it had its own bishop, separate from the city and the Patriarch. La Loggia served as guard post at meetings of the Great Council, while the current Patriarchal Palace was the seat of the hall for lunches and parties in the Senate. The large square was the site of processions and tournaments, fairs and markets in the courtyard of the palace were kept hunting the bulls. Appeared in the eighteenth century carnival and coffee up to the musealization with the opening of the Civico Museo Correr.


The current form of the square comes from successive expansions and changes that affected the area over the centuries. Originally the area was destined to garden and crossed the stream Batario, which links the existing canals and the mint stand. The Ducal Palace, equipped with a real castle towers and defenses, was surrounded by a canal and the area opposite the current square there was a dock for loading and unloading. With the arrival of the body 828 in Venice San Marco and the construction of the first Basilica of San Marco area began to take its importance as a monumental center of the city. In 976 the whole area was destroyed by fire, but already in 978 and a second church building have been rebuilt. The current basilica dates from the years 1050-1094, with the third foundation of the building. At that time the Brolo (the garden, garden trees) of the Nuns of San Zaccaria was opposite the Basilica of San Marco. In 1156 the Rio Batario was buried, as the basin was built and the Piazzetta. In 1172 the square was expanded to make room for new monumental buildings: the church of San Gimignano was placed on the edge of the new St. Mark's Square and were also placed two huge granite columns (from Constantinople) facing each pier, to represent ' access to the Mark. Column was placed above a symbol of the winged lion of St. Mark and the other was placed the statue of St. Theodore, Venice's first patron. He was born in this area so divided into two squares. In 1204 the conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade the Venetians gave the opportunity to decorate the Square and Basilica with marble and works of art. On this occasion he reached the Quadriga of San Marco, placed as decoration in the Basilica. Finally in 1264 the square was paved with bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. Between 1301 and 1442, after a series of modifications and work, the Ducal Palace lost its military aspect until it reached its current shape. Between 1495 and 1517 were instead made the Procuratie Old and the Clock Tower, while in the meantime proceeded to remove all the orchards and warehouses still in place. Sansovino was the great innovator of the square, which transformed it into a superb example of classic Roman, giving a new look at the cultural square, and adds between 1536 and 1540 the library and the loggia at the foot of the tower. Then between 1582 and 1640 created the new Procuratie. Andrea Tirali in 1723, he replaced the old flooring with the current trachyte Euganean Quarry Mount blackbird in Padua. Finally in 1807 the Napoleonic demolished the church of San Gimignano and built the 'Napoleonic Wing (also known as the Royal Palace or get-new), giving Mark the area final appearance today. The early morning hours of Monday, July 14, 1902 St. Mark's bell tower because of a previous leak, fell suddenly demolished the loggia and a corner of the library and threatening to bring even if the same basilica.

Saint Mark Square

Saint Mark square is the only square in Venice, as all other urban areas in the shape of square fields are properly defined.The heart of Venice and a symbol of the Venetian state, the monumental area of Piazza San Marco is composed of three areas:

* Square itself, the area between the Old and New Procuratie and the new and the bell tower of San Marco.

* The Piazzetta, southern extension opposite the Ducal Palace and the Library, Mark monumental entrance area for those coming from the sea through the two columns facing each famous St. Mark's Basin, which overlooks the pier of the Ducal Palace, the ' Venice only bank that bears the name of the pier.

* The Piazzetta dei Leoncini, extending west side of the Basilica and the Patriarchal Palace, named for the two statues of lions crouching delimiting the central area overhead.

Historical information

Venice is a man-made island on wooden poles, important not only for its particular characteristics, but also because it was one of the commercial centers of the Mediterranean. The main African trade were gold, spices and silk from the Orient that allowed the city to accumulate wealth that would enable the construction of buildings in stone and marble. The lagoon settlements date back to Roman times when the Lombard invasion of the sixth century forced the people of "Venice" to find refuge in the islands of the lagoon. Venice was ruled for more than a millennium by the Duke or Doge initially appointed and subsequently elected by popular imperial. Environmental conditions depended on urban education, the lack of a core city growth. Venice is in fact a collection of nuclei consisting of islands separated by the lagoon surface water from canals and bridges that became increasingly dense enough to reduce the current channels. The basin of San Marco there was a great urbanization, so that in the thirteenth century the city's landscape was what we know now. In the eighteenth century, following defeats and loss of possessions, the history of independence and ended in Venice that the city responded by putting up his new role as a party capital, theater and tourist elite. Marciana’s Area is a concentrate of art and architectural treasures, welcomed around the Piazza San Marco, one of the most famous squares in the world. Includes the Saint Mark Basilica, the Clocktower, the Doge's Palace, the Procuratie old, new, brand new or Napoleonic, Marciana Library, the Mint, the Loggia of the Campanile, the bell tower, the Bridge of Sighs, the Prisons.