St Mark’s Bell Tower, the highest building in Venice, is located in front of the St Mark’s Basilica, in front of the corner of the Sansovino Library.

The base is a square with 12 meters long sides, built in brick and about 50 meters tall, surmounted by a belfry abovewhich is placed a dado (cube) that serves as a base for the pyramidal spire. A golden angel stands on top of the spire. Itsentire height is about 100 meters, of which 3.68 is the angel.

With its spire covered in golden plates and beacon which was lit during the night in the belfry, the bell tower functionedas a great lighthouse for sailors: it could be spotted from more than 40 kilometers away.

The bell tower has a long and often tormented history.

Construction began between 888 and 912 under the dogado of Pietro Tribuno, on top of earlier Roman foundations. The belfry was inserted in 1173, under the Doge Vitale Michiel II. The present form was only achieved in 1513-15 with the work of the architect Piero Bon, with the addition of the wooden angel coated in gold-plated copper that was to serve as a weathervane.

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