The Venice Biennale GardensHistorical Curiosities
The Venice Biennale Gardens
The famous contemporary art exhibition in Venice - the Biennale, so called because it occurs every two years – takes place in the Napoleonic Gardens in the Castello district.
The origin of the park dates back to 1807, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered that the city of Venice be equipped with a public green area; the design was entrusted to the architect Giannantonio Selva, who had the ancient monasteries of St. Dominic and St. Anthony demolished in order to get the necessary space. The rubble resulting from the demolition was used to consolidate the ground and create a mound on which a coffee place was established; regarding the choice of plants, the collaboration of Pietro Antonio Zorzi was required, albeit with some difficulty given the particular climate of Venice.
Since 1895 in this area the pavilions of the Biennale have been created that now amount to over 30, with as many participating nations, which occupy an area of approximately 42,000 m², while the rest of the Gardens, 18000 m², is still used as a garden.
The gardens contain a flourishing vegetation and are organized largely around a central avenue from where minors trails depart; within the Gardens there are many monuments, most of which are placed in the area adjacent to St Mark's basin: namely, the monuments to Giuseppe Garibaldi, the patriot Pier Luigi Penzo, the mayor Riccardo Selvatico that promoted the Biennale, Richard Wagner, the great composer who died at Ca' Vendramin Calergi and the poet Giosuè Carducci.
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