Basilica di San Marco in Venezia

European churches and abbeys (the abodes of cœnobitic monastic orders) are some of the most enduring large structures erected by human hands anywhere. Many of them took on their present shapes in the late Middle Ages; the 13th century, when large European cities and their rulers competed in the planning and creation of ecclesiastical magnificence, was especially prolific in monumental church building.

    One of the seven most celebrated churches in Christendom is the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, sometimes called La Chiesa d'Oro (The Church of Gold) because of its uncommonly rich gilding and other resplendent decoration. The original structure, erected during the years 829-832, was a deliberate copy of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, but this grandest of all Venetian churches was completely rebuilt between 1063 and 1071, and further significant modifications were made to it again in the 13th, 15th, and 17th centuries. The original architects were Byzantine Greeks, whose names are not remembered.

    The image of the façade shown on this page is part of a panoramic oil painting on canvas done by the artist Gentile Bellini in the year 1496 and titled Procession of the True Cross in Saint Mark's Square. It aptly emphasizes the communal purpose of allodynamicocentric architecture everywhere as gathering place for persons desiring to manipulate allodynamic powers. The initial impetus to building of the Basilica di San Marco was to provide suitably sanctified sepulture for the allodynamically potent relics of St. Mark, which the Venetians had brought to their city from Egyptian Alexandria in the year 823.

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