13 July, 2006

49. Inside San Marco

It doesn't matter how many of the other great cathedrals in the world that you might have been to – Westminster Abbey in London, St Peter's in Rome, Chartres in France – none of these will prepare you for the gilded experience that awaits you inside St Mark's Basilica in Venice.

The gothic cathedrals of western Europe, like Chartres or Westminster, are characterized by their avenues of soaring columns reaching to the heavens, their intricate vaulting and their elaborate stained glass windows. The huge renaissance cathedral of St Peter's has a massive central dome decorated with marble and fresco. The ground plans of both types are shaped like a crucifix with a long central nave and shorter side arms, and they take your breath away with the light airy spaciousness of their interior spaces.

St Mark's is different. It's not a small church by any means, but it almost feels cosy, it's so enveloping and intimate compared with the others mentioned. This cathedral doesn’t try to overwhelm you with its physical scale, with its bold design, with the impressiveness of its structure, it just surrounds you with warmth, with the stories that matter to it, with the people at the centre of the mysteries to which it is dedicated. It beguiles you with its details and it invites you to sit quietly and think about them and share them. It is a much more spiritual place, if that word has any meaning at all to me.

San Marco is the kind of church that daylight should never be admitted into, a dimness that should always be lit by candles, flickering off the gold mosaic tiles on the walls like some stationary disco mirror ball, the air diffused with the haze of centuries of burned incense. Every square inch of the walls is covered in mosaic saints and martyrs and apostles and scenes of the prophets and events in the life of Christ, all set against a background of burnished gold glazed tile fragments.

The Greek cross layout with its five domes, four identical sized ones on the four equal length arms and the one much bigger central dome, betray the Eastern Orthodox stem of the religion as the origin of the style and character of St Mark's, so unusual in the west.

It wasn't until after I'd taken this photograph that I noticed the small sign nearby which said "Vietate fotographia" – Photography prohibited. No, really.

4 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 said...

lululemon, nike air max, michael kors outlet, michael kors, new balance pas cher, mulberry, nike free run uk, michael kors, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, burberry outlet online, hollister, air force, michael kors outlet, coach purses, sac guess, coach outlet, hermes, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, hogan, north face, vans pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion outlet, ugg boots, nike air max, hollister pas cher, michael kors outlet, vanessa bruno, coach outlet, true religion jeans, tn pas cher, burberry, lacoste pas cher, michael kors, michael kors outlet, timberland, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, nike roshe, nike blazer, ray ban uk, north face, ray ban pas cher, nike air max, oakley pas cher, michael kors, ugg boots

April 15, 2016 1:32 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike outlet, louboutin, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, ugg boots, nike air max, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, burberry, cheap oakley sunglasses, sac longchamp, ugg boots, christian louboutin outlet, prada handbags, air max, oakley sunglasses, longchamp pas cher, air jordan pas cher, jordan shoes, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, tiffany and co, louis vuitton, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, nike air max, chanel handbags, michael kors, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, replica watches, longchamp, polo ralph lauren outlet, nike roshe run, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin pas cher, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, tiffany jewelry, louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, nike free, ralph lauren pas cher

April 15, 2016 1:38 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

giuseppe zanotti, wedding dresses, insanity workout, iphone 6 plus cases, ghd, nike air max, iphone 5s cases, new balance, chi flat iron, vans shoes, baseball bats, birkin bag, abercrombie and fitch, iphone 6 cases, beats by dre, iphone 6s plus cases, mont blanc, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, hollister, celine handbags, hollister, longchamp, reebok shoes, soccer jerseys, nike huarache, valentino shoes, lululemon, mcm handbags, p90x workout, soccer shoes, instyler, bottega veneta, timberland boots, iphone cases, north face outlet, oakley, nike trainers, asics running shoes, nike roshe, north face outlet, ralph lauren, herve leger, babyliss, hollister, ipad cases, s5 cases, jimmy choo shoes, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, nike air max, iphone 6s cases

April 15, 2016 1:44 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

swarovski crystal, hollister, pandora charms, converse outlet, canada goose, converse, toms shoes, barbour jackets, moncler, louis vuitton, supra shoes, moncler, karen millen, gucci, moncler, moncler, barbour, replica watches, pandora charms, lancel, moncler, swarovski, canada goose uk, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, bottes ugg, moncler outlet, wedding dresses, vans, louis vuitton, ugg boots uk, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, links of london, moncler, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, montre pas cher, marc jacobs, canada goose, ray ban, sac louis vuitton pas cher, coach outlet, doudoune canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, canada goose

April 15, 2016 1:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home