The Arsenal door of VeniceHistorical Curiosities
The Arsenal door of Venice
Since the 12th century, one of the most important places of the city of Venice was undoubtedly the Arsenal, the place where merchant and war ships were built. They were the pride of the Venice Republic.
The entrance to this incredible place - where over 2,000 people capable of building a galley in just 24 hours, used to work - is one of the first examples of Renaissance architecture in Venice; it was built under the rule of the Doge Pasquale Malipiero in 1460 by architect John Gambello. The side columns were recovered from the previous medieval gate and have beautiful Veneto-Byzantine capitals dating back to the 11th century; above the entablature isthea symbol of Venice, the winged lion of St. Mark.
After the famous naval victory of Lepanto against the Turks in 1571, the door of the Arsenal became a kind of memorial: the statue of Santa Giustina (this Saint was celebrated precisely on the day of the battle), by the sculptor Girolamo Campagna, was added on top flanked by two winged statues, the Victories.
At the bottom of the door, you can finally admire sculptures of gods in Greek mythology, allegorical figures and two lions, which were acquired by Admiral Francesco Morosini after the conquest of Athens in 1687.
On the days 24 and 25 April 2015 you can visit the Venetian Arsenal for free, taking advantage of special tours. If you are in Venice in those days, do not miss the opportunity to visit this amazing place, open to the public only on special occasions. And if you want to visit other famous places in Venice, Francesca, our trusty tour guide, organizes private and costumized itineraries!
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