The basilica was built in the place where St. Mark the Evangelist would have lived during his stay in Rome in 41 AD. and which was later transformed into an oratory. Between 337 and 340, Pope Mark transformed the oratory into a basilica at the end of the persecutions against the Christians, with the contribution of the gifts received from the emperor Constantine.
The original basilica was restored several times over the centuries. In the 9th century, Pope Gregory IV rebuilt it almost completely and had the arch and the mosaics that we still see today decorated.
In the 12th century the precious Romanic bell tower was added. Another radical transformation of the building took place in the 15th century at the behest of Cardinal Pietro Barbo, who became Pope Pius Paul II in 1464. We owe him the central door of the church, surmounted by a relief depicting Mark the Evangelist attributed to the sculptor Isaia da Pisa, the portico with the overhanging loggia with three arches attributed to Leon Battista Alberti, and the ceiling of the church in which he worked architect Bernardo da Fiesole in 1467. The current appearance of the church is linked to the restoration begun in 1654-1657 and then completed at the behest of Cardinal Angelo Maria Quirini with the architect Filippo Barigioni in 1735-1750, in which the imprint was given Baroque that the basilica still retains. It is a parish basilica, title of cardinal and officiated by the Chapter.
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From Termini Station:
From St. Peter's Basilica
The Basilica of San Marco, like other basilicas located in the surroundings, was built on the remains of a previous one.
It is the basilica of Pope Mark, built during his brief pontificate, in the year 336 AD. In the basement it is possible to observe the perimeter walls of the original early Christian basilica, perfectly preserved and only recently brought to light.
During the recent excavations, tombs dating back to around 500 have also been found, these appear to be of particular importance as they allow us to deduce that, at that time, the Roman law which obliged the burial of the deceased outside of the wall.hide