"Masterly Veneziano architecture (1)" Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Favorite Tip by Trekki
Venice General: 810 reviews and 1,137 photos
Favorite thing: Many of us are visiting Venezia for the fascinating and magnificent buildings, churches and palazzi. And yes, although I don't like this description, Venezia presents herself as a huge "open air museum", in line with other art and architecture cities and towns such as Firenze, Roma, Vienna, London - masterpieces in museums and masterpieces around every corner.
But what fascinated me most is the harmony these buildings with very different building styles have as a result. With a little preparation and a good guide book, or professional knowledge, it is easy to find out if a building is Byzantine or Gothic or Renaissance ? but if they are next to each other like in Venice, they often have so many similarities that one could believe they are of same period. The reason for this is quite simple. Venezia played a prominent role in sea trade with the East. Marco Polo and other merchants travelled to Asia and brought back goods as well as descriptions of the building styles over there. Add to this that Venezia once was a major part in the Byzantine Empire. Being aware of their power, the city?s officials wanted to put distance between them and the other empires ? also in terms of building style, demonstrating their special position.
The most important and best known example of finest Byzantine architecture is definitely Torcello and its two churches of Santa Maria Assunta with the fine mosaics and Santa Fosca (photo 1) with the typical Byzantine proportions. Chiesa Santa Maria e San Donato (photo 2) on Murano is of the same period.
Of the secular buildings, Fondaco dei Turchi (photo 3) on Canal Grande is also Byzantine.
Basilica San Marco was started in Byzantine epoch too, but it was been modified over the years, so that it cannot be regarded as pure Byzantine.
The masterpiece of Venezia?s interpretation of Gothic is for sure the magnificent Palazzo Ducale (photo 5) with the so very harmonic arcades and pillars and Ca?D?Oro (photo 4) at Canal Grande.
Now look at the photos of Ca?D?Oro and Fondaco dei Turchi ? they look of similar style at the first view ? but there are 200 years between them!
See what I meant when I said that buildings of different periods have similarities in Venezia?
© Ingrid D., July 2007 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.). Update June 2015: wording.
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