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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why is a Lion the symbol of the Serenissima Republic of Venice?


My hometown Venice is filled with symbols and sings full of meanings, beautiful, interesting and colorful stories. A symbol you simply can’t get away from in Venice is the winged lion. On statues, palaces, the city’s flags, paintings, sculptures that lion is just everywhere. It is you can say the LOGO of Venice.
Did you ever wonder why?
The reason goes back to the ninth century, when Venetian merchants stole the body of St. Mark the apostle from his tomb in Alexandria in Egypt. When a storm almost drowned the merchants boats and their precious cargo, it’s said that St. Mark himself appeared to the captain and told him to lower the sails. The ship was saved, and the merchants said they owed their safety to the miracle.
Once they got to Venice and told the story to the Doge, the city voted him their patron saint. There is also another tradition telling that St. Mark had himself once stopped on the Venetian coast to avoid a storm and that an angel appeared to him, saying the locals would one day venerate him.
And what’s usually used to represent St. Mark in Christian iconography?
Yes, a winged lion.
From Venice With Love,
Giada
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