The Church of San Marco in Rome was founded by Pope St. Mark in 336. This may be the site where St. Mark the Evangelist stayed when he was in Rome. St. Mark was the patron saint of Venice. It was rebuilt after a devastating fire by Hadrian (772-795). It has undergone many transformations over the years. The façade (1466) was built by to Leone Battista Alberti with marble taken from the Colosseum and the Theatre of Marcellus.
In the 1740s, Filippo Barigioni created 20 columns with a veneer of Sicilian jasper. The colonnades on the sides of the church hide the original pillars of the nave. In the presbytery, the “Pope Saint Mark in Glory” fresco was done by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli. Beneath the altar, there is an ancient porphyry urn with the body of Pope St. Mark. In the crypt below, there is the tomb of 3rd century ROman martyrs Abdon and Sennen.
I love the Byzantine apse mosaic with an oversized Christ clad in royal purple. He is standing on a footstool that bears the Greek letters Alpha and Omega. He is holding a book with the words: “I am the Light, I am the Life, I am the Resurrection”.. Ln his right, yo can see St. Mark the Evangelist and St. Felicissimus.
The altar has Pier Francesco Mola‘s “Immaculate Conception. You can also admire his “St. Michael Overcomes Lucifer” in this church.. I love the painting by Baccio Ciarpi, “St. Dominic Restores a Child to Life.” There are some beautiful Baroque monuments: Cardinal Marcantonio Bragadin and the monument to Cardinal Cristoforo Vidman. Visit the the tomb of Leonardo Pesaro (1796) by Antonio Canova.
Take time to admire the interesing artifacts in the Portico. I love the lions!
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