How do buildings float in Venice?
St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica with bell tower and Doge's Palace
Centrally located and usually the place where visitors to Venice arrive is St. Mark's Square or Piazza San Marco. In the middle of St. Mark's Square is St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) - with domes, covered with mosaics and bathed in golden colors, it represents the power and wealth of Venice and the Church. St. Mark's Basilica was consecrated in 828, but was then rebuilt twice. The present form of the magnificent church building dates back to 1617 and can therefore be assigned to the golden age of Italy - the Renaissance.
In the immediate vicinity is the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the former seat of the lords of La Serenissima, the Republic of Veneto. The Doge's Palace dates back to the 15th century and it is built in the Gothic style. This can be clearly seen from the row of pointed arches on the building. Nevertheless, such a filigree design was an extremely ambitious and unique building project compared to the time. Today the Doge's Palace houses a museum with important works by Venetian artists. The former prisons and the Bridge of Sighs are also accessible via the museum. In front of the Doge's Palace is the St. Mark's bell tower (Campanile di San Marco), which served as a beacon for seafarers. In its present form, it dates from the 15th century, so it is also Gothic.
Other churches in Venice
Other important ecclesiastical buildings in Venice are the wonderfully beautiful baroque basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, the basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute with an octagonal floor plan and an imposing dome on the edge of the Grand Canal, the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli , the Church of San Francesco della Vigna, the Church of San Zaccaria, the Basilica of Saints John and Paul, the Church of the Redeemer on Giudecca Island based on a design by the great architect Andrea Palladio and the Basilica of San Pietro di Castello, which houses two chapels by Paolo Veronese . Paolo Veronese is also largely responsible for the wall and ceiling paintings in the Renaissance church of San Sebastiano.
If you want to enjoy the church art in Venice in peace, you should visit the beautiful church I Gesuiti, which also houses paintings by Titian. In general - if you want to combine great paintings with a visit to church, the Chiesa die Carmini is in good hands. It dates from the 13th century and shows paintings by important Venetian Renaissance painters such as Tintoretto and others. A wonderful interior decoration by Tintoretto can also be admired at the church Chiesa di San Rocco, in the Scuola di San Rocco. The church of San Zaccaria has an underwater crypt. From the outside, inconspicuous at first glance, the baroque church of San Pantalin in the Dorsoduro district is of great beauty and art-historical value - together with a painting by Paolo Veronese.
Grand Canal and bridges in Venice
The Grand Canal (Canałazzo) is also one of the celebrities of Venice. About four kilometers long and 30 to 70 meters wide, it represents the main waterway in Venice. All other canals are significantly narrower than the Grand Canal. This is also the case with the Rio di Palazzo canal, over which the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) was built. The Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge's Palace with the city's prison. The name of the bridge is self-explanatory. The Grand Canal, on the other hand, is spanned by the great Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto), which is 48 meters long. In addition, there are naturally a lot of bridges in Venice. The Ponte Chiodo bridge, which spans the Rio di San Felice canal, is very small and has no railings.
Palazzi and other buildings in Venice
Numerous magnificent palazzi also date from the golden age of Venice. These include the Plazzo Guisti, Palazzo Fortuny in the Gothic style, the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo also in the Gothic style and with a famous spiral staircase (Scala del Bóvolo), the Palazzo Fontana-Rezzonico, the Palazzo Grassi by Giorio Massari, the Palazzo Mocenigo in the Renaissance style, the Palazzo Grimani, the Palazzo Loredan in Gothic style, the Palazo Cavalli-Franchetti, the Palazzo Gritt-Badoer or the Palazzo Balbi and the Palazzo Dona Giovanelli. The names of the palazzi also indicate which family the buildings once belonged to. In contrast to the palazzi, many private houses have the designation Ca 'which also refer to the names of the families: Ca' Foscari (seat of the university), Ca'Rezzonico, Ca 'Pesaro, Ca' Tron, Ca 'Vendramin Calergi or Ca' Dario are among the most famous buildings in the city. So-called fondachi, on the other hand, are medieval warehouse buildings that were used by Venetian and foreign traders.
Venice Theater and the Venice Ghetto
In addition, there were numerous theaters in historic Venice, because the city was not only wealthy and powerful, but also an important cultural center in Europe. These include the Teatro La Fenice from 1792, the Teatro Goldoni from 1622 and the Teatro Malibran from 1678. The ghetto was also practically invented in Italy. The Ve-nedig ghetto is located on an island in the Cannaregio district that was a closed residential area for the Jewish population from the 16th century to 1796. Today there is only one small Jewish community left in the former Venice ghetto.
Museums in Venice
There are numerous museums in Venice - for example in the aforementioned Doge's Palace. The Leonardo da Vinci Museum is also known. Even if Leonardo da Vinci had little to do with Venice, it is still worth a visit. Many churches also have a museum attached (see section above) such as the churches of San Rocco, I Gesuiti or the church of Chiesa dei Carmini. The Peggy Guggenheim Museum shows large works by modern artists such as Modigliani, Picasso, Mirò and Kandinsky.
Other islands in the Venice lagoon
Major tourist destinations in the lagoon are the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. On the island of Burano you can expect very pretty old and colorful houses along the canals. Here you can experience the less glamorous Venice, but an authentic side of the city. On the island of Torcello there are old buildings such as the basilica Santa Maria Assunta or the church Santa Fosca from the 11th century. Murano is known for the glass art in Venice.
The island of Lido, on the other hand, is a well-known seaside resort and home to the famous Venice Film Festival. In front of Venice, a landing separates the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea. At the tip of the headland is the village of Cavallino-Treporti, which scores with breathtaking fireworks in summer and offers the closest large beaches from Venice. The island of San Michele with an 18th century church is known as the cemetery island. Recreation with green areas can be found on the islands of Vignole as well as Sant Erasmo and Mazzorbo. A piece of real Venice can be discovered on the island of Guidecca, which has no world-famous cultural assets - but still convinces with canals and historical ambience. Not many tourists come here. The small island of Guidecca, on the other hand, is well visited - mainly because of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore and the bell tower there.
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