Hidden treasures

The Lion at the entrance of the Venice Arsenal

Historical Curiosities
Leone

The Lion at the entrance of the Venice Arsenal

The Venice Arsenal is still nowadays imbued with allure and history. Once upon a time this is where the merchant and war ships that contributed to making the Venice Serenissima Republic a great power, used to be built.

Opposite the beautiful entrance gate of the Venice Arsenal – the first Renaissance monument in Venice – there are two guarding stone lions.

The left one bears some inscriptions, whose origins are linked to its thousand-year-long history. This sculpture was brought to Venice in 1684 from its original location in Piraeus, the harbor of Athens, by the famous commander Francesco Morosini (who bombarded the Parthenon).

The inscription of both sides of the lion remained a mystery until the 19th century, when they were deciphered by a Danish scholar who was staying in Venice. The runic inscriptions date back to the 11th century and were carved by the future King of Norway Harald III, who led a special troop of the Byzantine army during a revolt of the Greek population against the central government. They mention the conquest of the Piraeus harbor by the Norwegian king.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View