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VENICE HISTORY - VENICE - HISTORY OF VENICE ITALY

Venice History ItalyVenice History - Venice, known also as Venezia is interesting and the City of Venice played a major role in the development of Italy and Europe. The first settlers in Venice arrived arount the 5th and 6th centuries. Residents on the mainland wanted to escape the marshy areas and moved to the islands in the lagoon. This labyrinth of tiny islands had very little land to accommodate new villages and so the new arrivals built their houses by creating artificial foundations (they drove stakes into the subsoil on of the seabed of the islands and in effect their primitive houses were afloat).

Slowly but surely, a city evolved and Venice became a Republic. The chief of Venice was called a “doge”, a term still closely associated with the City of Venice.

The Venetians had great devotion to St Mark and in the 9th Century his body was brought to Venice, reinterred and the massive Basilica of St Mark was completed by the 11th Century in his honour.

During the Crusades, Venice rose to prominance and about the 13th Century, the Venetians conquered Constantinople. The Crusaders brought back jewels and trophies from their conquests and many of them can still be seen in the city today including some of the marble statues in St Mark’s.

At this stage, Venice was an important commercial port and served as a link between the West and East. Venice now ruled much of the eastern part of the Mediterranean and the city was an important centre.

Genoa wanted some of this commercial success and there were several battles with Venice eventually winning out in the 14th Century. This was shortly after the city had suffered greatly from the Black Death. In the 15th Century, the Republic of Venice saw its important conquest, Constantinople, wrested back by the Turks and this had a disastrous effect on the Venetian dominance of the region.

Further plagues and infighting amongst the city’s rulers coupled to the Turks incursions on the enieian Empire led to the loss of Cyprus and other important areas. Around this time the Doge’s Palace was burnt down and many treasures were lost.

Napolean ruled Venice for a while in the first half of the 19th Century and in 1866 Venice became part of the Kingdom of Italy. For a number of decades, there was an increase in industry and a railway bridge to link with the mainland was build opening up further trade. The canals remained of great importance and were developed and improved. In the mid 20th Century a major land bridge was built to the mainland of Italy linking up Venice with Mestre and Marghera.

Increased industry on the mainland has brought problems to Venice and in 1966 the floods experienced by Venice was devastating. Although much restoration has taken place since 1966, water pollution and flooding continues to be a problem. In fact, the City of Venice is slowly sinking despite continual measures to improve matters, and it is hoped that the latest of these will reverse the process.

Over the last hundred years, tourism has become more and more important and now Venice is one of the great Tourist Attractions of the world.

 

Venice Italy - Hotel Travel