In the ninth century all the best cities had relics of great saints. The merchants of Venice wanted relics of their own, for the glory of their city. So, off they went to Alexandria to steal the remains of the Evangelist Mark.
The symbol of St. Mark, the winged lion, became the official symbol of the Venetian Republic. Until 1807, when it became a cathedral church of Venice, it was beside Doge’s Palace, and served as Doge’s Chapel.
Its design is of a Greek cross, surrounded by five domes, in a Byzantine design. Sculptures, mosaics, and ceremonial objects have been added over the centuries, making it even more rich in beauty.