These days Venice is a huge tourist attraction and a World Heritage Site, but how did this come about? How this one of the greatest construction projects was realized?
Well, the reason for it goes back to even Pre-Roman days. There were some nasty people around, intent on committing mayhem and murder of the locals. Probably the last of these was Attila the Hun. What the locals realised was that they were a lot safer if they did a runner to the 117 small islands in the Venice lagoon. Eventually they settled there and Venice evolved into an immensely rich and powerful city on the trading routes and with its own huge fleet of ships. These benefitted from a huge very safe, sheltered harbour.
So the way it was built is like this: the locals probably got fed up of living in the mud and slime of the small islands and lagoons. They started to get hold of timber, usually alder trees because alder timber isn’t much affected by contact with water, which eventually, began to be imported from surrounding countries. They drove these timbers 6 metres into the ground as piles. This took them through the sand and into the clay underneath, making them far more stable.
They then put horizontal timber across these, positioning them above the water level, as a base. Now we all know that timber can rot, but what we don’t all realise is that it doesn’t rot if it is under water! Eventually it petrifies and turns into a stone-like material!!!
Now presumably the locals originally just stuck their tents and bivouacs on top of the timber bases they had created but eventually they got fed-up of camping! The next stage was that they placed stone bases on top of the timber and began to build permanent homes.
When this began to happen the population of Venice started to explode. Causeways were built to connect the small islands so people could socialise. They piled and built upon areas on many of the little islands began to expand by simply driving piles into the areas permanently under the sea.
The building of the Venice we see today began in earnest in the 14th. Century. Perhaps the best-known of these buildings is the Doge’s Palace we see today.
The scale and quality of it is a clear indication of the wealth that Venice enjoyed in those days! Exactly how this iconic building was built isn’t a subject for this Blog.
Today Venice’s 117 small islands are connected by 177 canals and 409 bridges.
Get to know, how they built the Statue of Liberty.