Saint-Mark Gold Basilica in Venice Italy, The Evangelist

Saint Mark Basilica Mosaics, the Cupola with Joseph, in Venice in Italy
Saint Mark Basilica Mosaics
« Within the church, the deep brown shadow-masses, the heavy thick-tinted ait, the gorgeous composite darkness, reigned in richer, quainter, more fantastic gloom than my feeble pen can reproduce the likeness of.

From those rude concavities of dome and semi-dome, where the multitudinous facets of pictorial mosaic shimmer and twinkle in their own dull brightness;

from the vast antiquity of innumerable marbles, incrusting the walls in roughly mated slabs, cracked and polished and triple-tinted with eternal service;

from the wavy carpet of compacted stone, where a thousand once-bright fragments glimmer through the long attrition of idle feet and devoted knees;

Saint Mark Basilica in Venice, the Mosaics of the Apse
Saint Mark Basilica Apse's Mosaics
from sombre gold and mellow alabaster, from porphyry and malachite, from long dead crystal and the sparkle of undying lamps,

- there proceeds a dense rich atmosphere of splendor and sanctity which transports the half-stupefied traveler to the age of a simpler and more awful faith.

I wandered for half an hour beneath those reverted cups of scintillating darkness, stumbling on the great stony swells of the pavement as I gazed up at the long mosaic saints who curve gigantically with the curve of dome and ceiling.

I had left Europe; I was in the East »
Henry James - Travelling Companions - 1870

Saint-Mark Basilica in Venice by night
Saint-Mark Basilica by night
« S. Theodore was the first patron of Rialto, of what later became the centre of the city of Venice ; it does not seem to have been till about 829 that S. Mark actually became the patron.

Some time before that, however, as we may believe, the Venetians had recalled the legend that the Evangelist was Bishop of Aquileia, and was indeed shipwrecked upon their shores, and there heard that voice full of all sweetness and consolation:

“ Pax Tibi Marce, Evangelista Meus. ” »
Edward Hutton - Venice and Venetia - 1911

« The body of St. Mark, however, was then preserved at Alexandria ; though, after the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs in 640, the church of St. Mark's in which it was kept was exposed to continual insults from the victorious infidel.

In 829, the Khalif decided to destroy the church, for the sake of its marbles.  »
Allen Grant – Venice - 1898

Saint-Mark Basilica, Atrium's Mosaics, in Venice Italy
Saint-Mark Basilica, Atrium's Mosaics
« In 828, two Venetian seamen, Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello, disobeyed the Imperial order, fitted out a ship with stuff for the Eastern markets, set sail secretly for Alexandria, sold their goods, and brought back to Venice the body of S. Mark.

The whole city and State could not but see in such a miraculous good fortune the establishment once and for all of their independence of the Emperor of their absolute right to freedom of trade.

The effect at any rate was magical. S. Mark deposed S. Theodore, and became then once and for all the symbol of the city, the warcry of the Republic, the foundation, as it were, of all that “ Viva San Marco! ” The new battle-cry of the Republic.

Such was the coming of S. Mark to Venice, and ever after the Republic bore as arms the Lion and the Book, and she wrote therein these words as her motto, “ Pax tibi Marce, Evangelista Meus ” was most vital in Venice.

The old church of S. Teodoro, which had stood where S. Mark's stands to-day, was pulled down, and a new church was built as a shrine for the Evangelist. »
Edward Hutton - Venice and Venetia - 1911


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