According to tradition, the church was dedicated to St. Mark, patron of Venice, after the help given by that city in the war against Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century. However, the first mention of the church dates from 1254 when the Augustinians built a Gothic style edifice with a nave and two aisles re-using pre-existing constructions.
The structure was heavily modified in the Baroque style during the 17th century, when it became the largest church in the city after the Duomo di Milano.
In early 1770, the young Mozart resided in the monastery of San Marco for three months and, on May 22, 1874, the first anniversary of the death of the Milanese poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni was commemorated in the church by the first performance of Verdi's Requiem, written in his honour.
The façade dates from an 1871 restoration by Carlo Maciachini, who kept the marble portal with tympanum, a gallery of small arches, the rose window and three statues of saints attributed to Giovanni di Balduccio or the Master of Viboldone. In the lunette is a mosaic representing the Madonna between Saints, a copy of the original by Angelo Inganni.
The campanile dates from the 14th century. It was restored and completed in 1885. The interior, in the Baroque style, has a nave and two aisles.
In the first chapel on the right are frescoes by Gian Paolo Lomazzo. In the right transept is a fresco by the Fiammenghini with Alexander IV Instituting the Order of the Augustinians, under which a 14th-century Crucifixion was discovered in 1956. The author of the latter has been identified by Anovelo da Imbonate. The right arms of the transept houses also several sarcophagi from the mid-14th century, including the tomb of Lanfranco Settalo, counsellor of Archbishop Giovanni Visconti, by Giovanni di Balduccio.
Near the rear exit is a 16th-century tombstone portraying the Angel of the Resurrection, another fresco by the Fiammenghini (under which is a 14th-century fresco). On the side walls of the presbytery are the Dispute of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine by Camillo Procaccini and the Baptism of St. Augustine by Giovanni Battista Crespi.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.