Historical Abundance of Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square)

A hotspot of historical landmarks and unforgettable sights in the square of Piazza San Marco, Venice
29 Mar 2022 · By Ivan Zulfikar
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View on piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy /
View on piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy / hotelcanaletto.com

In New York, every tourist should visit Times Square. In London, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus compete for the attention of visitors. In Paris, tourists are expected to see the Place de la Concorde.

The equivalent tourist magnet in Venice is Piazza San Marco, better known to Anglophones as St. Mark's Square. This place differs in two main ways:

  1. More interesting to look at
  1. Not polluted by car.

In The Companion Guide to Venice, Hugh Honor describes Piazza San Marco as:

“Beautiful any time of day or night and all season. It is one of the few subtle architectural masterpieces that can absorb a bustling vulgar crowd without losing any dignity; a large city square that maintains its brilliance when few people are in it."

Napoleon called Piazza San Marco "The best living room in Europe."

What's more, the square is surrounded by historic buildings and represents the focal point of Venice's water transportation system.


The piazza was laid out in the 11th century, when the area was divided in half by a canal near the cafe table in the picture. A century later, the canal was filled, creating the basic shape that exists today.

A major building project was underway in the 16th century, and new brick replaced the old brick in the early 1700s. The Istrian stone geometric pattern adds to the illusion of depth.

Historical Abundance

The Piazza is one of the hotspots of historical wealth in Europe. Right in the middle of the Piazza is Ala Napoleonica, a legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte. Currently Ala Napoleonica is used as a museum called the Venetian Civilization Museum.

On the other hand you will see the Basilica church which can be visited every Monday to Saturday. Here you can see Byzantine domes, mosaics, and loot from Asia.

The clock tower on the Piazza named Torre dell'Orologio has been ringing since 1499. The archway under the clock leads to the Mercerie, an interconnected shopping street that leads to the Rialto Bridge.

Ala Napoleonica /
Ala Napoleonica / it.wikipedia.org
Torre dell'Orologio Clock Tower /
Torre dell'Orologio Clock Tower / venezia.net
Church of Basilica /
Church of Basilica / lonelyplanet.com
Rialto Bridge /
Rialto Bridge / theactivetimes.com

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