Tesoro di San Marco
Basilica di San Marco, piazza San Marco, Venezia
The church’s Treasure is kept in the ancient rooms between the church and the ducal palace, accessed by means of a door in the south transept embellished with a 13th century mosaic which, in memory of the fire of 1231, depicts two angels bearing the reliquary of the Cross, miraculously left intact.
The small vestibule leads, on the left, to the sanctuary and, on the right, to the actual Treasure. In eight niches in the sanctuary walls there are numerous precious reliquaries containing the relics of saints that were gathered from Constantinople to the Holy Land and from places outside the eastern Mediterranean basin. The Treasure consists of an overall 283 pieces in gold, silver, glass and other precious materials.
The oldest nucleus is a part of the booty brought to Venice from Constantinople between 1204 and 1261 after the Venetian conquest. For the most part they are liturgical chalices, bowls and patens in semi-precious stone mounted on Byzantine enamelled gold-work. It also includes two icons of the Archangel Michael with enamelled frames. To these may be added late-antique vases in glass and semi-precious stone and bowls of Islamic origin, all of great interest. Lastly there is a nucleus of western objects, some of them Venetian filigree.
click on the picture to open the gallery: