There are four beautiful bronze horses in St Mark’s Basilica, Venice.
I was lucky enough to spend a few days here, in a hotel 20 seconds walk from Saint Mark’s Square. Regretfully, I didn’t go inside the basilica but the outside was a true feast for the eyes.
Now – these four horses have had an exciting life. They once stood in the Hippodrome in Constantinople. Then, in the 1204 Sack of Constantinople, they were stolen and taken to Venice.
I’ve already written about the 1204 events and the fact that the “Crusaders” did not come exclusively from Western Europe and they did not lose the map that showed the way to Jerusalem. It was a concerted act of vengeance against Constantinople and all those guilty of the execution of Andronicus I Comnenus.
St Mark’s in Venice is best known as the resting place of St Mark the Evangelist whose symbol is the winged lion. And, btw, he’s also the patron saint of Egypt (!)
The bones of Mark were allegedly “found” in 1094 and given a magnificent reburial in the Basilica. But maybe, possibly the date was 1194 and the bones weren’t “found” ……it was an actual burial.
P.S. St Mark’s as it exists today was not built earlier than the 16th century.