Explorations - (Page 68)
St. Mark’s Square and Basilica St. Mark’s Square was once called “the finest drawing room in Europe” by Napoleon, and it’s still a powerful magnet for visitors with its famous pigeons, outdoor cafés and magnificent St. Mark’s Basilica looming overhead. The ninth-century church is at the core of Venice in more ways than one. At a time when a saint’s relics were a huge tourist draw, some of Venice’s famous merchants traveled to Alexandria and stole St. Mark’s remains. Indeed, the city did prosper and the symbol of St. Mark, a winged lion armed with a sword, became the city’s emblem. With its gothic façade, soaring domes and gleaming golden mosaics, St. Mark’s is more than worthy of the praise that’s been heaped on it for centuries. The Doges Palace Not far from St. Mark’s, and visible to those arriving by sea, is the unmistakable Doges Palace. This is where some of the most important decisions affecting Europe were once made. The many arches and airy balconies give a feeling of lightness to this and other buildings in Venice — an appropriate illusion, given their watery foundations. Quintessential Venice LIST OF ANY VISITOR. Scuola Grande di San Rocco BUILT ENTIRELY ON WATER, VENICE DEFIES LOGIC. AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINk YOU ALREADY kNOW OF THE CITY, THE REAL THING WILL TAkE YOU BY SURPRISE, SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET WITH ITS MAGIC AND MAkE YOU LONG TO RETURN TO WHAT LORD BYRON CALLED “A FAIRY CITY OF THE HEART.” THE NUMBER OF OUTSTANDING LANDMARkS AND ACTIVITIES IN THIS CITY ARE DIzzYING, BUT HERE ARE A FEW THAT SHOULD DEFINITELY BE ON THE SHORT There are places where religious devotion and art meet and blend together so perfectly as to appear almost miraculous. San Rocco in Venice is one of those places. Apart from being a great example of Venetian Renaissance architecture, the building is so famous for its series of more than 60 religious paintings by Tintoretto that some refer to it as Venice’s Sistine Chapel. Tintoretto spent 23 years completing the series of paintings, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament. It’s said that this would be a world wonder in any other city, but in Venice it is just one of many. Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (Peggy Guggenheim Collection) The late Peggy Guggenheim lived in the famously unfinished Palazzo Venier dei Leoni along the Grand Canal, and today it houses her personal collection of art. The building is made of white Istrian stone and was built in the 1750s, but was never completed above the 68 E xplorations
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