St. Mark’s Horses
The stunning Horses of St. Mark’s Basilica, also known as the Triumphal Quadriga and the Horses of the Hippodrome of Constantinople, are a much-loved symbol in Venice.
They are in the city’s iconic St. Mark’s Square.
The four statues, crafted from copper with a low tin content, have a fascinating history, dating back to the classical antiquity of the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD.
Originally from Greece, they were gifted to Venice by the Byzantine Emperor in 1204.
The artisans of the time crafted these statues with the highest skill, making them incredibly detailed and lifelike.
They require a casting temperature of 1200 to 1300°C and are a popular attraction for tourists worldwide.
The horses are in full stride, with their heads raised and manes flowing in the wind.
The bronze horses of St. Mark’s are a reminder of the skill of the ancient artisans and a symbol of Venice’s importance in the Mediterranean.
Horses of Saint Mark’s History
Their history is a fascinating example of looting and destiny.
During the Fourth Crusade, the victorious Venetians pillaged and looted Constantinople, taking these horses, among other treasures.
In 1254, they mounted it atop the terrace of the façade of St. Mark’s Basilica.
In 1797, when the French military commander Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Venetians, he had the horses forcibly removed from the basilica.
He then got them installed in the design of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel back in France.
The horses were returned to the cathedral in 1815 after Napoleon’s defeat in the Battle of Waterloo.
The statues were taken away in the 1980s because people were worried that the pollution in the air would hurt them.
They were restored and are now inside the cathedral, with jaw-droppingly similar-looking replicas having taken their place.
Visit St. Mark’s Basilica and enjoy the life-altering history of humanity.
Admire the beauty and history of the Horses of Saint Mark in the gallery outside the Basilica and appreciate the skill of the ancient artisans.
Featured Image: En.wikipedia.org