Hidden treasures

The Venice Biennale in the Arsenale of the Venice Republic

Historical Curiosities

The Venice Biennale in the Arsenale of the Venice Republic

The Venice Biennale is certainly one of the most important events in the world from an artistic and architectural point of view...

Over the years, the historical pavilions in the Giardini have become insufficient to accommodate all the new countries that decided to participate in the big event, so, in 1980, the year of the first Biennale of Architecture, a great restoration project was started to use some of the spaces near the Arsenale of Venice.

It is without doubt the largest manufacturing centre in the pre-industrial era, which occupied an area of forty-six acres and employed up to 2,000 workers per day. It was an important place for Venice, not only because in these complex construction sites - consisting of factories, warehouses and yards – the fleets for the Venice Republic were built, but also because it was the symbol of the economic, political and military power of the city. The original building dates back to the early 1200s, but it was greatly expanded over the centuries, even after the fall of the Venice Republic.

The following are currently used as exhibition spaces for the Biennale: Corderie, built in 1303 and then rebuilt at the end of the 1500s, once used for the construction of ropes, cables and cordage (316m long, 21m wide and 9.70m high); the Artiglierie (3,300 square meters) consisting of a long single storey building dating back to 1560, which housed the workshops of the Arsenal;  the Gaggiandre, two great dockyards constructed between 1568 and 1573 from a design attributed to Jacopo Sansovino and overlooking the inner basin.

If you want to discover other interesting anecdotes about Venice, enquire now for your personalized tour! History, tradition, legends and interesting facts told in person by the author of these articles and where they took place ...

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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