Dating since the 9th century, when it was just a small area in front of St. Mark's Basilica, the piazza was enlarged in 1177. It was first paved with bricks in a herringbone pattern, but they were later replaced with a more complex pavement design.
Generally referred to as "the Piazza", this is considered the center of Venice, and it used to be home to all important offices of the Venetian state.
The Piazza is surrounded by important buildings, starting with St. Mark's Basilica in the eastern part, the Procuratie buildings on both sides, St Mark's Clocktower, the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Campanile and the Biblioteca Marciana.
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