Saturday, 25 July 2015

Venice : Gorgeous Buildings Of Venice

As I walked and gazed at monuments and buildings, bridges and canals, I realised that there are not many things modern about Venice. This is probably what makes Venice so unique and popular as a tourist destination. 
Venice with a history that dates back to the 5th century is a city that derives its income mainly from tourism. This best explains why the immense heritage and artistic culture of Venice are so well preserved. 
Venice is a storehouse especially of heritage buildings and monuments that were created with unimaginably awesome architecture. 
To date there are more than 450 old palaces, more than 200 churches, innumerable museums, bridges and monuments in Venice, so it comes as no surprise that every corner you trod, you are likely to encounter something with a long history and an interesting tale to tell. 
Some of the more spectacular sights are found in San Marco. This area is so popular among visitors that you will inevitably have to walk through a few sardine-packed crowds to get around. Below are some of the gorgeous things we saw there.

1) The Bridge Of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs was built in early 17th century. It is an enclosed bridge that connects the interrogation room in Doge's Palace and The New Prison. But why "sighs"?
An interesting theory is the prisoners would "sigh' as they cross the bridge , probably catching their last glimpse of the outside world before being confined to prison cells the rest of their lives.

2. Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)
The Doge's Palace was the residence of the Doge (the ruler of Venice in the olden days). It used to house the political bodies of the state which include the law courts, administrative offices, courtyards, ballrooms and prison cells. Its construction started in the 10th century but subsequent reconstructions were made over the years. It is now a public museum.
Doge's Palace as seen from our water taxi.

3. St Mark's Square
St Marks's Square is the largest square in Venice. It features 3 connected buildings also known as Procuratie which used to house the offices and apartments of the procurators of San Marco. It was built in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 16th century after being destroyed by fire. The oldest building lies on the north side and is also known as Procuratie Vecchie. Today these buildings are occupied by shop owners and restaurateurs.
This is the clock tower in St Mark's Square.
Shops at St Mark's Square
St Mark's Square is also a place you can sit and watch the world go by.

4. St Mark's Basilica
Among all the buildings in San Marco, St Mark's Basilica is the most impressive. This church which was built in the 11th century is also the most famous church in Venice.
For a church of such magnificence, it would be a waste if the ornate details of its facades are not fully appreciated.

St Mark's Basilica is best known for its beautiful mosaics.

5.St Mark's Campanile
St Mark's Campanile is the bell tower of St Mark's Basilica.This tower was constructed in the early 20th century after the original tower collapsed in 1902.

6.The National Library Of St Mark (Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
This remarkable Renaissance building is located at the edge of St Mark's Square. Opened in 1560, it holds one of the greatest classical  texts collection in the world.

7. Scuola Grande Di San Teodoro
Built in 1580, this building is now a prestigious concert hall. Among groups that perform here are  I Musici Veneziani, a musical group of singers who perform wearing 18th century costumes.

8. Rialto Bridge
There are 4 bridges  that cross the Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge is the oldest and the most famous. It took three years to complete this bridge. (1588 to 1591)
The steps leading to Rialto Bridge and the shops that line it.

9.Monuments and Statues
A monument at the entrance to St Mark's Square
Emblem of Venice - A bronze winged lion sculpture on a pole 
Statues on top of the clock tower at St Mark's Square
An unknown statue seen while walking around.

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