The Piazza San Marco in the San Marco district near to the Castello district, is the most important square in Venice. The Piazza, also known as St. Marks Square, is the social centre of the city. Already in the past it was a meeting place for Venetian citizens. As a remark to Napoleon, the square is famously named as the "drawing room of Europe". This square is the only square which officially is called "Piazza". All other squares in Venice are called "Campi".
The Piazza got its name from the Basilica San Marco, which is located at the east end of the San Marco square. The famous Campanile di San Marco is the bell tower of the Basilica. It's an outstanding landmark in Venice. The square is located between the Doge's Palace and the Jacopo Sansovino's library. The Piazza San Marco holds several buildings and important monuments. Besides the campanile, the Lion of Venice has its place on the eastern column on the square. St. Theodore is located on the western column on the place. Since the place holds more interesting sights, the square is often overcrowded by tourists and photographers. Built in the 9th century, the place isn't high above the sea level. Therefore, Piazza San Marco is often flooded. As Venice is a car-free zone, this place is a huge pedestrian area with a lot to see and explore.
Known as the Piazzetta, a little square, the "L" shaped area around the Doges Palace is an extension from the Piazza San Marco. Within this place, there are two huge columns in front of the water. They are representative for the two patron saints in Venice.