Where San Marco now stands, there used to be a chapel for the then patron saint of the city, San Teodoro, opposite a house of prayer for San Geminiano. When San Marco took over the role of San Teodoro after the transfer of his body in 828, his chapel was replaced by a church for the evangelist.

The Loggia dei Cavalli (of the Horses) extends above the facade. From there, the doges considered festivities at the time, such as tournaments. The horses, which were once part of a four-in-hand, would not be made of bronze, but of copper, which melts more difficult, but can be gilded more easily. The horses that are now there are copies of the original, which were built in 1974