Venice (World Heritage)

According to cheeroutdoor, Venice is one of the most famous and most visited cities in the world. The location on the islands in the Venetian lagoon, the canals and the numerous squares with palazzi and museums make the city a unique work of art. Most of the 150 islands are connected by bridges. Highlights include St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Church, San Cassiano with paintings by Tintoretto, San Francesco della Vigna, the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and the Rialto Bridge.

Venice: facts

Official title: Venice and its lagoon
Cultural monument: Architectural highlights among others St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) with the Piazzetta, the 95 m high campanile, the Basilica San Marco with treasury, the Church of San Cassiano with paintings by Tintoretto, the Church of San Francesco della Vigna (16th century) with facade design by Andrea Palladio, the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Ca ‘d’Oro, a palace with a world-famous colored marble facade, the Rialto Bridge over the Grand Canal and the Bridge of Sighs
Continent: Europe
Country: Italy, Veneto
Location: Venice, east of Padua
Appointment: 1987
Meaning: in a once powerful urban maritime republic, extremely important examples of late Gothic and Renaissance architecture

Venice: history

421 probably foundation
828/29 Transfer of the relics of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria to Venice
830 Start of construction on the Basilica San Marco
1094 Completion of the third church building in San Marco
1172 presumably the installation of a granite column on the piazzetta
1309-1442 Construction of the Doge’s Palace
1312-20 Construction of the Baptistery of San Marco
1453 Venice largest and richest Italian city
May 12, 1797 Abdication of the last Doge, Lodovico Manin
since 1895 Biennale d’Arte Moderna
1902 Collapse of the campanile
1903-12 Reconstruction of the campanile

Golden splendor and worries about balance

Where the waters of the Giudecca Canal, the Basin of San Marco and the Canal Grande converge, Fortuna stands, weather-reversed, but firmly on a shiny, golden globe. The goddess of luck, standing at a strategic point above the once lucrative customs post, is an optimistic symbol: She is not in danger of faltering or even falling down, although the world of Venice is often out of joint.

Not far from her, in the narrow maze of alleys – a few steps from the spacious St. Mark’s Square – dominates an extremely depressing picture: the Teatro La Fenice, the phoenix that is unable to rise from its ashes. A victim of the flames in 1996, it has been waiting in vain for its resurrection behind high construction fences for many years. The theater – weeping all over the world for its beauty – has seen many premieres and festivals of contemporary music from Igor Stravinsky to Luigi Nono, after the »red rooster« had directed it once – in the 19th century. At that time, however, a year after the conflagration, it shone again in newfound splendor.

The lagoon city, deprived of its economic and political world significance, is rampant with its cultural pounds and relies on their interest for the future. The previously immeasurably rich trading metropolis with business connections as far as China is an artificial city, a city of exuberant aesthetics – challenged by the forces of nature and endangered by them. Fortuna has not helped against them so far.

From its privileged location, it looks over to the magnificently decorated Gothic Doge’s Palace and the overloaded Byzantine influenced St. Mark’s Church behind it. Your gaze also falls on the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by the »master of classicism«, Andrea Palladio, which rises in the south of the city on an island, in front of whose shores the masts of rigged sailing boats clash in the waves. These are Venetian impressions in contrast: the ostentatious architectural representation of the Doge’s power and the mighty maritime republic, which anyone arriving by ship should recognize immediately, and the Renaissance-like austerity and clarity of the Church of the Dragon Slayer, St. George.

Another building with its massive domes draws attention: Santa Maria della Salute. 1,156,657 oak and larch wood piles are said to have been driven into the unsafe subsoil to ensure the stability of this Venetian baroque structure. This effort required a solemn vow after surviving the plague epidemic: The Virgin Mary, who was regarded as the savior, was to be shown in appreciation with a splendid church building. It was thanks to the survivors and in memory of the 47,000 or so citizens of the city who fell victim to the epidemic in 1630.

Gondolas, like black lacquered coffins, glide over the waterways of the city with their human load past neat palazzi like the Ca ‘Da Mosto and crumbling masonry. The gondolas, which are an indispensable part of Venice, only follow a lucrative rite, especially on days when they rocked up and down on their poles in the damp wind, when they are in the fog or in with curious, sometimes talkative tourists leaden sultriness cut through the moving water.

Some visitors only experience hours of melancholy and not the high spirits when the contours of the unique stone art treasures are sharply defined in the clear natural light and the city shines in bold colors. But the magnificent monuments sink a little deeper into the yielding subsurface year after year. The recurring high water rises from time to time and floods St. Mark’s Square almost every third day. And finally, completely forgotten by the visitors, the lazy lagoon of the spirited Venice gets more and more out of its ecological balance due to the nearby industrial settlements.

The construction of an extensive lock system is therefore being planned, which will protect Venice from the floods of the Adriatic in the future. However, until the planned completion in 2016, people will have to be patient.

Venice (World Heritage)