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San Marco is a basilica in Rome. Devoted to St. Mark, it was built in 336 by Pope Mark and rebuilt in 833 by Pope Gregory IV; the basilica, located in the small Piazza di San Marco (adjoining Piazza Venezia), shows a Baroque style dating back to the restorations of the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 336, Pope Mark built a church devoted to one of the Evangelists, his name bearer St. Mark, in a place called ad Pallacinas. The church is thus recorded as Titulus Marci in the 499 synod of Pope Symmachus.
After a restoration in 792 by Pope Adrian I, the church was rebuilt by Pope Gregory IV in 833.
Besides the addition of a Romanesque belltower in 1154, the major change in the architecture of the church was ordered by Pope Paul II in 1465-70, when the inside and the outside of the church were restyled according to the Renaissance taste. In that occasion the church was assigned to the Venetian people living in Rome, Paul II being a Venetian of birth.
The last major rework of the basilica was started in 1654-57 and completed by Cardinal Angelo Maria Quirini in 1735-50. With these restorations, the church received its current Baroque decoration.
The inside is clearly Baroque. However, the basilica shows noteworthy elements of all her millenary history:
- the apsis mosaics, dating back to Pope Gregory, show the pope, with the squared halo of the living people, offering a model of the church to Christ, in presence of Mark the Evangelist, Pope Saint Mark and other saints;
- the wooden ceiling, with the emblem of Pope Paul II, is the only preserved 15th century wooden ceiling in Rome, together with the one of Santa Maria Maggiore;
- the tomb of Leonardo Pesaro (1796) by Antonio Canova.
- Roma, collection "L'Italia", Touring Editore, 2004, Milano.