Venice, the city of waters, bridges and magnificent squares, hides millennia-old secrets under its majestic cloak of history and culture.

Among its countless wonders, a recent discovery has shaken the spirits of lovers of archaeology and ancient history: the emergence of the remains of the ancient Church of San Geminiano just beneath the iconic St. Mark's Square.

The ancient Church of San Geminiano

Imagine yourself taking a trip back in time to the early Middle Ages, when the city of Venice was still shaping its identity.

Here, in the beating heart of what would become one of the most famous squares in the world, stood the Church of San Geminiano, a silent witness to the first steps of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.

The discovery: An epochal moment

The city's Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio announced the discovery of a real archaeological treasure during an excavation campaign aimed at restoring the masegni, the characteristic stone blocks used to pave the square.

But what they found far exceeded their expectations: masonry, pavements and even a tomb dating back to the early Middle Ages, all indicative of the presence of the church of San Geminiano.

The findings of the ancient church under St. Mark's Square Venice

During the excavations, led by Dr. Sara Bini of the Venice Superintendent's Office, several layers of pavement, some dating back to before the year 1000, were found that covered the square before its current paving.

These ancient long and narrow brick pavements, arranged in a fishbone pattern, transport us directly into the atmosphere of a bygone era.

The mysterious burial in the ancient church under St. Mark's Square Venice

But the real surprise was the discovery of a common burial containing the remains of at least five individuals, including a child and a woman, dated between the 7th and 8th centuries.

This suggests that the practice of burying the dead next to buildings of worship was widespread even in ancient times, shedding new light on the funerary customs of those remote times.

Remains of the church under St. Mark's Square Venice: one of the oldest structures

Archaeologists, inspired by their extraordinary findings, are making bold assumptions about the true identity of these ancient structures.

The presence of the Church of San Geminiano, one of the oldest in Venice and devoutly beloved by the first Doges, may finally emerge from the fog of the past and receive the recognition it deserves.

The history of the Church of San Geminiano

The Church of St. Geminianus, erected well before the famous St. Mark's Basilica, occupied a central position in ancient Venice.

Its historical importance cannot be underestimated: it was not only a place of worship, but also a symbol of the religious fervor and devotion of the early inhabitants of this extraordinary lagoon city.

The revival of the ancient church under St. Mark's Square Venice thanks to the remains found

Over the centuries, the Church of San Geminiano underwent many transformations and shifts, until its final demolition by Napoleon in 1807.

However, its spirit and historical importance survive through these extraordinary archaeological finds, which allow us to rediscover and appreciate its memory.

Remains of ancient church found under St. Mark's Square Venice: a new chapter

The discovery of the ancient remains of the Church of San Geminiano under St. Mark's Square represents a momentous moment in Venetian history and archaeology.

This extraordinary find offers us a unique opportunity to explore and better understand the deep and ancient roots of this unique city in the world.

Whether you are a history buff, amateur archaeologist, or simply curious, this treasure hidden beneath our feet is an invitation to immerse yourself in Venice's fascinating past and celebrate its rich cultural heritage.

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