Venice’s Arsenal

Arsenale di Venezia,  February 2017

Construction of the Arsenal began in around 1004, with a major expansion in 1320, and addition of the main gate (seen above) in 1460.  Encircled by 4 km of 8 metre high walls, it reached its industrial peak in the 16th century.  At this point it had produced over 3000 ships, it occupied at least a tenth of Venice, and 16000 people lived and worked there.

Looking it from the main gate, it is not possible to appreciate the size and strength of this place.  To get some idea, take a look at the clip below.  This is part of a fascinating BBC series showing the normally-invisible interior of Italian cities.  Skip to 32:20 minutes to see the Arsenale, but I strongly recommend watching the whole thing if you would like an intimate view of amazing Venice.


aDSC_0636_ppCopyright Debbie Smyth, 2 March 2017


Part of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


16 thoughts on “Venice’s Arsenal

  1. It’s a shame it’s not open to the public, it’s such a fascinating place. I was so lucky to be taken on a tour by a member of the Biennale staff, I’ll never forget that.


  2. I enjoyed visiting the Arsenale for the Venice Biennale Arte in 2015. What a fabulous place to hold art exhibitions. I liked it better than Giardini exhibition space. Thank you are the memory


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