Monday, December 16, 2013
Venice's magnificent basilica cathedral church is a Blending architectural styles of East and West.
Rev: "Not to be missed - ignore the ongoing improvement works - see it for what it is - an amazing piece of architecture - just going inside & out on to the roof gives you such a feeling of calmness & serenity! Don't worry about bare shoulders - they sell disposable shawls so no one need miss out!"
Rev: "Unfortunately some of the outside of the Basillica is currently covered with scaffolding for restoration but the inside is incredibly beautiful. Sadly there were many rude and disrespectful visitors taking photos inside despite the many signs that say no photos."
The main features of the present structure were all in place by then, except for the narthex or porch, and the facade. The basic shape of the church has a mixture of Italian and Byzantine features, notably "the treatment of the eastern arm as the termination of a basilican building with main apse and two side chapels rather than as an equal arm of a truly centralized structure".
Rev: "We weren't able to go inside this beautiful Basilica but we were able to enjoy the amazing architecture, mosaics, and gold overlay from outside. Truly eclectic in its creation."
The exterior of the west facade of the basilica is divided in three registers: lower, upper, and domes. In the lower register of the façade, five round-arched portals, enveloped by polychrome marble columns, open into the narthex through bronze-fashioned doors. The upper level of mosaics in the lunettes of the lateral ogee arches has scenes from the Life of Christ (all post-Renaissance replacements) culminating in a 19th-century replacement Last Judgment lower down over the main portal that replaced a damaged one with the same subject (during the centuries many mosaics had to be replaced inside and outside the basilica, but subjects were rarely changed).
Rev: "The basilica is absolutely impressive, the walls and ceilings covered with mosaics. You have to pay 2 Euros to see the Pala dÒro, but it is worth the money, and you can see the Apsis as well."
Rev: "We are not Catholic but made the effort to attend the 7:00am mass on a Sunday morning. Very pleased we did too. While I didn't understand a single word, just to be a part of a church service in such a magnificent building was worth braving the cold for. The interior of the church is more impressive than the exterior....we'll worth a visit."
Rev: "The church is right on the square and is absolutely stunning in terms of architecture. If you visit it during the high tourist season, expect long waits to get inside. Spend time just admiring the exterior."