The bell tower of St. Mark of Venice is a 98.6-meter-high bell tower, which is isolated on one side of St. Mark's Square, near the basilica's facade. The current building was inaugurated in 1912. Formerly known as El parón de casa, it served as a watch tower. This campanile has a simple form, with a brick tower, square base 12 meters wide and 50 meters high, above which is the housing for five bells. The top is surmounted by a cube, on the sides of which are represented lions and feminine Allegories of Venice (La Giustizia: "Justice"). The tower is surmounted by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weather vane in the form of the Archangel Gabriel. The campanile reached its current form in 1514.
It is possible to climb to the top of the tower by a large elevator. At the top is an observatory and a souvenir shop. It is the old bell tower of St. Mark's Square.
The initial construction dates back to the ninth century, initiated under the reign of Pietro Tribuno, built on Roman foundations. It was used as a watchtower for the port, which then occupied what is now Piazzetta dei Leoncini. The construction was completed in the twelfth century, under the reign of Domenico Morosini. The base of the campanile is part of the logetta which housed the barracks of the guard for the Doge's Palace. The logetta was built by Jacopo Sansovino, completed in 1549 and extended in 1663. The bell tower of Saint Mercuriale in Forlì was modeled on the campanile of San Marco. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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