Venice - Venice guide, attractions and pictures
(Venezia) is a truly unique city frozen in time. Built on low lying islands in a muddy lagoon with canals instead of streets this truly remarkable city is visited by 12 million people every year. Venice is so rich in history with its Palazzi, Churches, Bridges
that every house and every corner has something to offer to the traveler. Even the less marketed sites represent unique cultural monuments. The city`s history of wealth has produced some of the best palaces, places of worship, and residential buildings.
The Venetians built their houses using unique construction technique. They used pinewood piles which were driven deep (7.5 m -25ft) into the clay of the lagoon (caranto), then they put a layer of bricks, on top of that they used Istrian stone for damp-proof foundations. When this was done the building of the houses could begin. The result was remarkable. Founded in AD 421 Venice quickly became the most powerful city in the Mediterranean accumulating wealth and influence.
The Grand Canal
is one of the finest water boulevards in the world. The boats pass the Scalzi and San Geremia churches and the palace Palazzo Labia. Further along is the masterpiece of the Canal, the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergy, which has built upon the architectural principles of Leon Alberti. Richard Wagner was the most renowned resident of the palace. The 13th century Palazzo Loredan has been renovated in a Veneto-Byzantine style. On the right bank, the visitor can see the Palazzo dei Camerleghi, which had served as the chambers of the Venetian Exchequer. The impressive building of the Palazzo Corner de la Regina had been the residence of the queen of Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro.
Piazza San Marco gathers flocks of visitors who feed the famous Venetian pigeons. The Basilica di San Marco
is marked by the Romanesque and Renaissance architectural styles. Built by the plan of the Church of the Twelve Apostles in Constantinople, the basilica had served as the private chapel of the Venetian dodges. The facade arches are decorated with superb mosaics. The domes and the arcs are covered by mosaics which mainly depict scenes from the Old Testament. The Palazzo Ducale
had functioned as the dodges residence, the seat of the Venetian government and bureaucracy, and the state prison. Built in the 9th century, the palace was frequently reconstructed over the years. The facade of the palace is designed in Gothic style, boosting Istrian stone and Veronese marble. Inside, the superbly decorated rooms lead to the Grand Council Hall. One of the largest oil paintings in the world, Paradise
by Tintoretto, adorns the hall. Another famous work of art contained in the hall is The Apotheosis of Venice
The famous Bridge of Sighs leads to the new prisons of the Palazzo Ducale. The name of the bridge reminds of the sigh of the prisoner who was taken behind the bars. The guided tour Secret Itineraries takes the visitors to the prison`s administrative offices, the Inquisitor`s Office, and the prisoner sells.
The Annual Carnival in Venice which began in 11th century still attracts millions of people each year. Finally, the famous gondolas may take the visitors to the quiet back canals and let them enjoy the unique Venetian scenery.
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