Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Artistic Details of Venice

The Campanile tower is a landmark of Venice. It was rebuilt to look just like the original tower after it collapsed in 1902. The only victim of the collapse was a cat. It is 98.5 m. (323 ft) high, offering a spectacular view of Piazza San Marco and the surrounding area.
The balcony, windows and tiles of the Doges Palace are classic Venetian architecture. The exterior was built in the 14th and 15th Centuries, except the balcony above, which was added in 1536. The Doges Palace was the seat of government when the Venetian Empire was in its glory, based upon its maritime mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean and its trade routes to the East.
This side view of St. Mark's Basilica shows its location next to the corner of the Doges Place, shown on the right. The current basilica was built in the second half of the 12th Century, replacing earlier cathedrals built to hold the body of St. Mark. The tile floors, mosaic ceilings, and treasures inside the cathedral are spectacular. This photo shows part of the Byzantine influence of its architecture, reflecting Venice's orientation towards trade with the East.
The Grand Canal is the main street of Venice, lined with grandiose and ornate palazzos. Gondolas are a classic and romantic activity and, as you can see in this photo, popular.
St. Mark and angels adorn the top of the archway over the portico above the front door of St. Mark's Cathedral. The winged lion is the symbol of Venice, built over the doorway of many buildings throughout the Venetian empire. If the lion is holding a book that is open, the building was constructed during a time of peace. If the book is closed, it was built during war time.
This gondolier has seen the church of Santa Maria della Salute so many times that he does not even bother to take a look at it as he glides past. This baroque masterpiece was built beginning in 1630 to express thanks for the end of the plague that year. It is a magnificent landmark across the entrance to the Grand Canal from St. Mark's Square.
Street signs in Venice are painted on the sides of buildings and compete for attention with many architectural details. This sign points the way to Piazza San Marco. Walking through the narrow streets of Venice is like negotiating a maze.

7 comments:

brattcat said...

Poor cat. ) : How interesting about the symbolism of the lion and the book.

glenda said...

Love Venice and really enjoying your pictures. It takes me back to my visit and especially love the grand canal one.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

A fantastic and unique place full of history, culture and beauty!

Memphis MOJO said...

Lovely series, as usual.

Cezar and Léia said...

This city is a lovely dream!
Thanks for sharing these wonderful shots!
Léia :)

Lois said...

The pictures are lovely Julie! I have always been fascinated by Venice and wondered how so many beautiful buildings could be built there so long ago by people who didn't have the modern construction equipment we have today.

JM said...

The composition of the third shot is remarkable!

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