- Access St.Mark’s Basilica: St.Mark’s Treasure and Shrine
St. Mark’s Treasury is a collection of outstanding liturgical articles used in celebrations at the St. Mark's Basilica, the chapel of the Venetian Doges. It encompasses antique pieces, fine jewellery, silver, gem stones, worked and painted glass: the most refined articles produced for the churches of Constantinople and the most precious objects crafted by the Venetian jewellers for the glory of the Venetian State and St. Mark's.
The Treasury of the Basilica is conserved in ancient rooms between the church and the Doge’s Palace, which can be accessed via a door from the southern transept embellished with a mosaic from the 13th century. The small vestibule leads to the sanctuary on the left and the Treasury on the right. In the sanctuary there is a collection in eight alcoves in the walls of many precious shrines which contain relics of saints from Constantinople and from the Holy Land. They testify to the worship and above all the wealth of the relics market in medieval times, of which the Venetians were undisputed leaders.
The Treasury is made up of a set of 283 objects made from precious materials. The most ancient centre is composed of the remains of the loot stolen by the Venetians in Constantinople between 1204 and 1261.
The Treasury mainly contains liturgical chalices, cups and patens. There are many semi-precious stones mounted on byzantine glazed gold. There are also icons, vessels in glass and hard stone from late antiquity, cups of Islamic origin and liturgical objects of the modern period worked in filigree by the renowned Venetian goldsmiths. The Treasury is complemented by liturgical objects added subsequently, donated by pontiffs, European princes or the Doges themselves.