The traces of centennial human influence can be observed most in the woods. The original woods were mostly felled sprout management. At present due to natural succession and tree planting the area is covered with dwarfed heather oak, woods, hornbeam oak woods and primarily with planted mixed woods comprising false acacia, pine, larch, red oak and spruce. The area has been settled since the Paleolithic.
The area, formerly exploited for forest and agricultural purposes, is used for recreation at present. NOVAK 8. Venezia, city pop. The city is connected with the mainland, 2. Between the islands run about canals, mostly very narrow, crossed by some bridges.
The Grand Canal, shaped like a reversed letter S, is the main traffic artery; its chief bridge is the Rialto, named after the island that was the historical nucleus of Venice. Gondolas, the traditional means of transport, have been superseded by small river boats vaporetti , but there are numerous lanes calles , public squares, and a few streets. Houses are built on piles. Venice is a tourist, commercial, and industrial center. The tourist trade is stimulated by many annual festivals, including ones devoted to painting, motion pictures, drama, and contemporary music.
The Venice Biennale, which exhibits various kinds of modern art every other year, has been held there since Manufactures include lace, jewelry, flour, and Murano glass, and the city is a center for shipbuilding. On the square are St. Theodore stepping on a crocodile and of a winged lion of St. Mark the emblem of Venice. The fashionable beach resort of Lido di Venezia is on a nearby island. In the 6th cent. The communities organized themselves under a doge [Lat.
Favorably situated for handling seaborne trade between East and West, the communities grew, and by the 9th cent. The city secured 10th cent. The great traveler Marco Polo represented the enterprising spirit of Venice in the 13th and 14th cent. A fter defeating its rival Genoa in the War of Chioggia, Venice was indisputably the leading European sea power; its sea consciousness was expressed in the symbolic marriage ceremony of the doges with the Adriatic, celebrated with great pomp on the huge gilded gondola, the Bucentaur.
All citizens shared in the prosperity, but the patrician merchants obtained political privileges. Membership in the great council, which by then had replaced the general citizenry as an electorate in the election of the doges, became restricted to an oligarchy. In reaction to an unsuccessful conspiracy in , the Council of Ten was instituted to punish crimes against the state. The Ten, by means of a formidable secret police, acquired increasing power, and the doge became a figurehead.
In the 15th cent. The city engaged in a rich trade, especially as the main link between Europe and Asia; all Venetia on the mainland was conquered; and Venetian ambassadors, creators of the modern diplomatic service, made the power of the city felt at every court of the known world. The arsenal founded ; rebuilt in the 15th and 16th cent.
The decline of Venice can be dated from the fall of Constantinople to the Turks, which greatly reduced trade with the Levant, or from the discovery of America and of the Cape of Good Hope route to Asia, which transferred commercial power to Spain and other nations to the west of Italy.
The effects were not felt immediately, however, and Venice continued its proud and lavish ways. Architects like the Lombardo family, Jacopo Sansovino, and Palladio, and the Venetian school of painting, which besides its giants—Titian and Tintoretto—also included Giovanni Bellini, Jacopo Palma Palma Vecchio , and Veronese, gave Venice its present aspect of a city of churches and palaces, floating on water, blazing with colour and light, and filled with art treasures. Politics in 18th-century Venice was aristocratic and stagnant.
During the Risorgimento, however, Venice played a vigorous role under the leadership of Daniele Manin; having expelled the Austrians in , it heroically resisted siege until In , Venice and Venetia were united with the kingdom of Italy. Since the s, the city has been increasingly swamped by periodic floods, in part because it is sinking. Increased air pollution from cars and industrial smoke has contributed to the deterioration of the ancient buildings and works of art, and the high phosphorus and nitrogen content of the lagoon has stimulated algal growth, which has depleted marine life.
Such environmental problems have led to a steady depopulation of Venice to the mainland over the past several decades. In , engineers began testing prototypes for a mechanical barrage, which could be raised in time of flooding to close the lagoon. Mark's Square Piazza S. Marco is the only true square in Venice the others open areas are campi. It was called "the drawing room of the world" by Musset and has been the scene of some of the most important religious and political activities of the Serenissima as well as the center of Venetian social life for almost a millennium.
The Palazzo Ducale Doge's Palace got its present form after radical changing during the 14th and 16th century. It was the Doge's residence and at the same time seat of many different political and social institutions. The Grand Council chamber, the largest room of the palace, the Ballot chamber, where the committee met to elect the Doge, and the Doge's apartments are located on the second floor.
The Sala del Collegio, where foreign ambassadors were received, and rooms used by the state security service like the Council of Ten are located on the third floor. The Bussola chamber is a small room with a box where citizens could submit written complaints against other citizens. The State Inquisitor Room was used to interrogate prisoners. Throughout Europe the Serenissima's government was considered a model of stability, honesty and demonstrated the possibility of combining the monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, in the figures of the Doge, the Senate and the Grand Council.
The Doge represented the unity of the Republic. He was elected for life by the Grand Council, chosen from among the greatest Venetian families and in general was older than The Doge's powers were very limited. He could not make any decisions in the absence of the six Councillors of the six sestieri of the city of Venice. He could not leave Venice unless he was accompanied by at least two Councilors.
The actions of the Doge were controlled by the Seignory, which consisted of the six Councilors, the three heads of the supreme tribunal and the Doge himself. Moreover the Doge had to pay for all official festivities organized in the Doge's Palace, for any restoration work done in the Palace and often had to pay for military operations, without getting money from the State.
follow url In fact it was not for a desire for money or power that made Venetians desire to be Doge, but for the honor of covering the highest position of the Republic and all the noble families wished for the the privilege of having a Doge in their family as this insured that their name would be remembered through out history. Also some commoners made extraordinary services to the State or payed substantial sums to the government or to impoverished nobles to buy titles of nobility and to have their name written in the Golden Book so that they could be members of the Grand Council and in this way hope for a nomination as Doge.
There is one dark spot in the history of the Doges of the Serenissima. After the election of Doge Marin Falier, he tried to lead a popular conspiracy and was executed by order of the Council of Ten. The Council of Ten in fact were responsible for decisions about crimes against the State and about decisions requiring absolute secrecy. They also prevented the ambitions of influential citizens from threatening the Venetian Republic. In the Ballot Chamber of the Doge's Palace, where the portraits of the Doges are exhibited, the portrait of Marin Falier is replaced by a black veil in remembrance of his crime.
In Venice no single institution monopolized power because no single decision making body could operate unchecked by another and the quick rotation of all offices made it difficult for a single individual or faction to appropriate power or to be corrupted because their time in office is not long enough to be useful for such a purpose. Frauds in casting ballots have been known to happen in Venice, before ballots were cast, Grand Council members milled about in front of the palace, on the "broglio", where the most powerful tried to buy the votes of impoverished nobles, called the barnabotti.
It is from this practice that the the word broglio entanglement came in to use and is still used today. The New and Old Procurati e , bordering the Square, was the offices of the 9 Procurators, the most important citizens of Venice after the Doge.
They were controlling the Square, the Basilica and the 6 sections of the city, called sestieri. Mark's Square alone.
On July 14, it collapsed. It didn't do any damage to the Basilica either even though it stands just a few feet from its entrance. Inside the bell tower there are 5 large cast iron bells. Each bell has a name and a purpose; Marangona rang mornings and evenings at the beginning and end of the work day, Maleficio rang for capital executions, Nona rang at the 9th hour, Trottiera called magistrates to meetings in the Palazzo Ducale, and the bell of Pregadi called senators to the Palace.
The clocktower :The clock shows the hours in Roman numerals, the phases of the moon and the Zodiac. It also gives indications to sailors about the tides and which months are more favorable for sailing. The Serenissima gave a large reward to the Ranieri brothers who constructed the clock tower, but legend has it that later their eyes were removed in order to keep them from repeating such a wonder.
The Bridge of Sighs received its name in the 17th century, because the prisoners who passed through it on their way to the prison cells on the other side would most likely see the beautiful sight of the lagoon and the island of S.
Giorgio and freedom for the last time. The streets in Venice generally have ancient and above all curious names which reflect different work that was done in the area like Calle del "Pestrin", which means milkman, of "Pistor", which means baker, of "Fruttarol", which means fruit seller, etc.