Principal Façade
The Façade
is developed in horizontal sense on two floors with five arcades:
  the inferior floor is articulated in a series of orders of columns, archs, reliefs and decorations that give to the sight a pleasant game of light and shade effects. If we place in front of the façade and starting from the left side, it's possible to admire the arcades that tell the events of the stealing of the body of the Evangelist: the first one is the only one that keeps the ancient mosaic (1260-1270), representing the Translation of the body of S. Marco in the church; the second one represents the Body of St. Mark revered by the Doge, mosaic of the eighteenth century on sketch of Sebastiano Ricci, the third arcade that is situated in the center of the façade is decorated with bas-reliefs of the third century: they constitute one of the sculptural cycles more important than the Romanesque sculpture in Italy and they narrate some episodes of the Months, of the Virtues and of the Prophets. The intrados of the greater arc show in form of bas-relief the Works. Just on the left in the scene we can see a character with the crutches that the tradition recognizes in the architect of St.Mark, in the action of biting a finger of his hand since he had boasted, when he had finished the basilica, to be able to build another better of that one. The fourth and the fifth arcade have a mosaic of the '600 that represents the St. Mark's Body welcomed by the Venetians and the stealing of St. Mark's body. Through the galleries we can enter the terrace on which are put the copies of the four gilded bronze horses that were sent to Venice from Constantinople, by the Doge Enrico Dandolo in 1204: the original ones are kept in St. Mark's Museum. In the lunettes are inserted some mosaics of the ' 600, while the aedicules, the statues and the cusps date back to the Gothic.