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Paul L. Gleiser | all galleries >> KTBB World Tour III - Northern Italy & Switzerland >> Venice > 1012d-1024-0410.jpg
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October 24, 2012 Paul L. Gleiser


Venice, Italy

This marble lion is one of two that sits in the Piazzetta dei Leoncini (the small plaza of the lions), now known officially as Piazzetta dei Giovanni XXIII and located just north of St. Mark's Basilica. The statues were given by Doge Alvise Mocenigo in 1722. The Lion of St. Mark is the symbol for the evangelist St. Mark, who for centuries has been represented in Christian iconography as a winged lion. St. Mark is heavily associated with Venice and the lion is the de facto symbol of Venice. Venetian tradition states that when St. Mark was traveling through Europe, he arrived at a lagoon in Venice, where an angel appeared to him and said "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum." (May Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist. Here your body will rest.) This (likely apocryphal) tradition was used as justification by Rustico da Torcello and Bon da Malamocco in 828 for stealing the remains of St. Mark from his grave in Alexandria, and moving them to Venice, where they were eventually interred in St. Mark's Basilica.

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