is world-famous for its canals it is built on an archipelago of 118 islands formed by about 150 canals in a shallow lagoon. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges. In the old centre, the canals serve the function of roads, and every form of transport is on water or on foot. Venice is universally considered to be the most beautiful city in the world because of this unusual urban design and its inestimable artistic heritage; it is included in the heritage of humanity projects protected by UNESCO and has the highest number of visitors of any Italian city, many of whom are foreign tourists.
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The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark (Italian: Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco), commonly known as Saint Mark’s Basilica (Italian: Basilica di San Marco; Venetian: Baxéłega de San Marco), is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice,northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.It lies at the eastern end of the Piazza San Marco, adjacent and connected to the Doge’s Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has been the city’s cathedral only since 1807, when it became the seat of the Patriarch of Venice,archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, formerly at San Pietro di Castello.
The tower is 98.6 metres (323 ft) tall, and stands alone in a corner of St Mark’s Square, near the front of the basilica. It has a simple form, the bulk of which is a fluted brick square shaft, 12 metres (39 ft) wide on each side and 50 metres (160 ft) tall, above which is a loggia surrounding the belfry, housing five bells. The belfry is topped by a cube, alternate faces of which show the Lion of St. Mark and the female representation of Venice (la Giustizia: Justice). The tower is capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top of which sits a golden weathervane in the form of the archangel Gabriel. The campanile reached its present form in 1514. The current tower was reconstructed in its present form in 1912 after the collapse of 1902.
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