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The centre of life in Venice is the Piazza of S. Mark, which is not altogether unlike the Palais Royal in Paris. It is surrounded on three sides by lofty houses, the lowest parts of which are shops or cafés, while on its east side stands the Cathedral of S. Mark, in front of which the three lofty masts which once bore the banners of Candia, Cyprus and the Morea still stand.
The Basilica of S. Mark’s is altogether oriental in its magnificence. It is in the form of a Greek cross, and upon the extremity of each arm rises a dome, while a larger central dome crowns the whole. The domes are covered internally with mosaics, some of which date from the tenth century; the floor is of marble mosaic, and the whole interior is rich with gilding, bronzes, and variegated marbles. On the outside of the building, and over the principal entrance, are the celebrated bronze horses, which were formerly believed to be the work of a Greek master, but are now believed to be roman, and probably of the time of Nero. It is probable that Constantine caused them to be conveyed to Constantinople, whence they were brought to Venice by the Doge Dandolo, in 1204. They were carried to Paris by Napoleon, in 1797, and were restored to Venice in 1815 by the Emperor Francis. There are some comparatively recent mosaics over the doorways on the outside of the building. The Treasury of S. Mark is very rich in relics, among other things a silver column containing some of the true cross, a portion of the skull of S. John, and a crystal vase containing the blood of our Lord.” (p. 36)
Note: S. Mark, Venezia is the Italian way to write Saint Mark, or St. Mark, Venice.
This engraving uses wavy lines to convey the greys of the sky, and these do not reproduce well at low resolutions. I scanned it at 2400dpi, and the high resolution version is available.
If you stay at the Bauer Hotel and eat at the restaurant, you can see this view.