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It is one of the eight Great Schools of Venice and takes its name from the devotional Confraternity of San Marco.

Originally this brotherhood was based in what was once the church of Santa Croce. The transfer took place after the agreement reached in 1437 with the Dominicans of Saints John and Paul, who granted land to build the new headquarters.

On April 25 of the following year the transfer was celebrated with a solemn procession, even if the works were far from finished, given that the building was only completed in 1480.

A serious event shocked the building in 1485, when a fire broke out inside the building that completely destroyed the building. For the reconstruction, the Council of Pregadi allocated to the brotherhood the considerable sum of one hundred ducats per month for two years (in addition to a loan of two thousand ducats for the reconstruction of the school). Initially it was planned to entrust the work to Pietro Lombardo and Giovanni Buora, however, since the construction company had absorbed most of the economic resources, the two were fired in 1489 and the architect Mauro Codussi was hired.

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