The north facade

The north facade, overlooking Piazzetta dei Leoncini, has an intimate and private character in contrast with the official prestigious role of the ones facing the square and the sea.
As well as the recent tomb of Daniele Manin, which occupies the great niche at the head of the transept, and a three-light window opened during the 14th century in the arch to the right of the Gate of Flowers, the plastic decoration has been considerably enriched, clearly transforming the original plan. The foremost addition consists of the beautiful 13th century slabs with Christ and the Four Evangelists near the Gate of Flowers. The latter is topped by an elegant Nativity sculpture delimited by two arch undersides sculpted with angels and prophets and a sort of procession of half-length figures including Christ, Mary and male and female saints portrayed individually or in groups of three and flanked by angels and crosses. The Gothic crowning at the summit continues with floral decoration and figures of virtues and the church fathers.
Later additions also include the two icons sculpted for the altars of St. John the Evangelist and St. Leonard, set in their present place only in the 17th century. The large and evident relief of St. Christopher on the transept buttress is part of the original plan.
Most of the sculptures are ornamental elements, ambo pluteuses and other reliefs with animals, pieces set together in a more or less decorative fashion. In most cases no attempt was even made to give them any specific meaning, whereas other icons take on a new function as parts of a plan. These include the Virgin Praying with Angels, the full figure portrayals of the Evangelists John and Mark on the architrave of the Gate of Flowers (which in a certain way are an external pendant to the figures of “custodian” saints on the Gate of the Virgin inside the atrium) and the two Archangels with sword and lance. All these sculpted figures form a group of icons for worship and also include the personification of Fortune on the arch to the east of the Gate of Flowers.

Over and above these icons and ornamental elements placed in a context other than the one for which they were created, the north fa�ade also includes two iconographically coherent decorative complexes: the figurative plan of the Gate of Flowers, and a kind of procession of half-length figures as described above. All these figures were indubitably sculpted expressly for their present location