Lion of Venice - St Mark's Square
The Lion of Venice is an ancient bronze winged lion sculpture in the Piazzetta di San Marco (St Mark's Square) of Venice, Italy, which came to symbolize the city — as well as one of its patron saints, St Mark — after its arrival there in the 12th century.
The Lion of Venice surmounts one of two large granite columns in the Square, thought to have been erected about 1268, carrying ancient symbols of the two patron saints of Venice. The eastern column bears a creature which at some point came to represent the “Lion of Saint Mark”, traditional symbol of the evangelist. The sculpture has had a very long and obscure history, probably starting its existence as a winged lion-griffin statue on a monument to the god Sandon at Tarsus in Cilicia (Southern Turkey) about 300 BC.