The world-famous Basilica Cattedrale di San Marco in Venice is undoubtedly the most significant of the 90 or so churches in the historic city center of the lagoon city. A predecessor building was erected in 828 to house the relics of Mark the Evangelist. After the great fire that devastated the church, the Doge's Palace and about 200 other buildings in 976, the basilica was rebuilt in the 11th century under the doge Domenico Contarini. When the new basilica was inaugurated on June 25, 1094, it is said that the lost bones of St. Mark were "miraculously rediscovered". The day became a holiday Inventio Sancti Marci. In the following centuries, the church was repeatedly expanded and redesigned, the completion date is the year 1617.
In particular, the main facade of the cathedral shows the claim to power of the State Church of the Republic of Venice, starting with the triumph over Constantinople in the crusade of 1204. Countless pillars of marble, porphyry, jasper, serpentine and alabaster and many sculptures of different periods were collected during conquests and in San Marco used as spolia, without any supporting function for the architecture.