Saint Marks Square

Tom Gomez

Joined January 2008

Artist's Description

The Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square) is the principal square of Venice, Italy.

The Piazza is dominated by the Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica’s Campanile, which stands apart from it.

A remark often attributed to Napoleon (but perhaps more correctly to Alfred de Musset) calls the Piazza San Marco “The drawing room of Europe”. It is one of the few great urban spaces in a Europe where human voices prevail over the sounds of motorized traffic, which is confined to Venice’s waterways. It is the only urban space called a piazza in Venice; the others, regardless of size, are called campi.

As the central landmark and gathering place for Venice, Piazza San Marco is extremely popular with tourists, photographers, and Venetian pigeons.

The Piazza originated in the 9th century as a small area in front of the original St Mark’s Basilica. It was enlarged to its present size and shape in 1177, when the Rio Batario, which had bounded it to the west, and a dock, which had isolated the Doge’s Palace from the square, were filled in. The rearrangement was for the meeting of Pope Alexander III and the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

The Piazza has always been seen as the centre of Venice. It was the location of all the important offices of the Venetian state, and has been the seat of the Archbishopric since the 19th century. It was also the focus for many of Venice’s festivals. It is a greatly popular place in Italy even today.

The whole of Venice and its Lagoon is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm
ISO: 200

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Related shots can be found at: Venice or Italy.

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