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Venice(vĕn`ĭs), Ital. Venezia, city (1991 pop. 309,422), capital of Venetia and of Venice prov., NE Italy, built on 118 alluvial islets within a lagoon in the Gulf of Venice (an arm of the Adriatic Sea). The city is connected with the mainland, 2.5 mi (4 km) away, by a rail and highway bridge. Between the islands run about 150 canals, mostly very narrow, crossed by some 400 bridges. The Grand Canal, shaped like a reversed letter S, is the main traffic artery; its chief bridge is the RialtoRialto,
city (1990 pop. 72,388), San Bernardino co., S Calif., a residential suburb of San Bernardino; inc. 1911. The city has greatly expanded as a result of the economic and demographic growth of the southern California area.
..... Click the link for more information. , named after the island that was the historical nucleus of Venice. Gondolas, the traditional means of transport, have been superseded by small river boats (vaporetti), but there are numerous lanes (calles), public squares, and a few streets. Houses are built on piles.
Venice is a tourist, commercial, and industrial center. The tourist trade is stimulated by many annual festivals, including ones devoted to painting, motion pictures, drama, and contemporary music. The Venice Biennale, which exhibits various kinds of modern art every other year, has been held there since 1895. Manufactures include lace, jewelry, flour, and MuranoMurano
, suburb of Venice, NE Italy, on five small islands in the Lagoon of Venice. From the late 13th cent. it was the center of the Venetian glass industry, which reached a peak in the 16th cent. and was revived in the 19th cent. by Antonio Salviati.
..... Click the link for more information. glass, and the city is a center for shipbuilding. Porto Marghera, the modern port of Venice (founded in the 1920s), located on the mainland, is a major shipping facility and also has considerable industry.
Points of Interest
The center of animation in Venice is St. Mark's Square and the Piazzetta, which leads from the square to the sea. On the square are St. Mark's Church; the Gothic Doges' Palace (14th–15th cent.), from which the Bridge of SighsBridge of Sighs,
covered stone bridge in Venice, Italy, built in the 16th cent. to connect the ducal palace with the state prison. The prisoners were led over the bridge directly to prison after trial in the ducal palace.
..... Click the link for more information. (c.1600) leads to the former prisons; the Old and New Law Courts (16th–17th cent.); the campanile (325 ft/99 m high; built in the 10th cent.; rebuilt after it collapsed in 1902); the Moors' Clocktower (late 15th cent.); the elegant Old Library (1553); St. Moses' Church; and the twin columns supporting the statues of St. Theodore stepping on a crocodile and of a winged lion of St. Mark (the emblem of Venice). On an island facing the Piazzetta is the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore (1566–1610) and on a nearby tip of land is the Church of Santa Maria della Salute (17th cent.).
Among the city's numerous other points of interest are the churches of Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari (with paintings by Titian), San Zanipolo (1234–1430), and San Zaccaria (with a Madonna by Bellini); the Academy of Fine Arts, with fine paintings by Bellini, Carpaccio, Mantegna, Giorgione, Veronese, and others; the Scuola di San Rocco, with a series of paintings by Tintoretto; the Scuola degli Schiavoni, with paintings by Carpaccio; and the palaces Ca' d'Oro (1440; late Gothic), Rezzonico (1680), and Pesaro (1710; baroque). The fashionable beach resort of Lido di Venezia is on a nearby island.
Founding and Rise of Venice
With Istria, Venice formed a province of the Roman Empire. In the 6th cent. refugees fleeing the Lombard invaders of N Italy sought safety on the largely uninhabited islands. The communities organized themselves (697) under a doge [Lat. dux=leader]. Favorably situated for handling seaborne trade between East and West, the communities grew, and by the 9th cent. they had formed the city of Venice.
The city secured (10th cent.) most of the coast of DalmatiaDalmatia
, Croatian Dalmacija, historic region of Croatia, extending along the Adriatic Sea, approximately from Rijeka (Fiume) to the Gulf of Kotor. Split is the provincial capital; other cities include Zadar (the historic capital), Šibenik, and Dubrovnik.
..... Click the link for more information. , thus gaining control of the Adriatic, and began to build up its eastern empire, obtaining trade and other privileges in the ports of the eastern Mediterranean. The influence of the Middle East, particularly Byzantium, which characterizes much Venetian art and architecture, is most clearly expressed in Saint Mark's ChurchSaint Mark's Church,
Venice, named after the tutelary saint of Venice. The original Romanesque basilical church, built in the 9th cent. as a shrine for the saint's bones, was destroyed by fire in 967.
..... Click the link for more information. (rebuilt 1063–73), located on the city's principal square. In 1204 the doge, Enrico Dandolo (see under DandoloDandolo
, ancient Venetian family that produced four doges, many admirals, and other prominent citizens. Enrico Dandolo, c.1108–1205, became doge in 1192. He is considered the founder of the Venetian colonial empire.
..... Click the link for more information. , family), led the host of the Fourth Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade
In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
..... Click the link for more information. ) in storming Constantinople. Strategic points in the Ionian, the Aegean, and the E Mediterranean were taken, notably Crete (1216). The great traveler Marco PoloPolo, Marco
, 1254?–1324?, Venetian traveler in China. His father, Niccolò Polo, and his uncle, Maffeo Polo, had made (1253–60) a trading expedition to Constantinople.
..... Click the link for more information. represented the enterprising spirit of Venice in the 13th and 14th cent.
Queen of the Seas
After defeating (1380) its rival Genoa in the War of ChioggiaChioggia
, city (1991 pop. 53,179), Venetia, NE Italy, on a small island at the southern end of the Lagoon of Venice (an arm of the Gulf of Venice), connected to the mainland by a bridge. It is an important fishing port and commercial center.
..... Click the link for more information. , Venice was indisputably the leading European sea power; its sea consciousness was expressed in the symbolic marriage ceremony of the doges with the Adriatic, celebrated with great pomp on the huge gilded gondola, the Bucentaur. All citizens shared in the prosperity, but the patrician merchants obtained political privileges. Membership in the great council, which by then had replaced the general citizenry as an electorate in the election of the doges, became restricted to an oligarchy. In reaction to an unsuccessful conspiracy in 1310, the Council of Ten (see Ten, Council ofTen, Council of,
in the republic of Venice, a special tribunal created (1310) to avert plots and crimes against the state. It was a direct result of the unsuccessful Tiepolo conspiracy against the Venetian oligarchy. In 1335 the body was given permanent status.
..... Click the link for more information. ) was instituted to punish crimes against the state. The Ten, by means of a formidable secret police, acquired increasing power, and the doge became a figurehead.
In the 15th cent. Venice, known as the "queen of the seas," reached the height of its power. The city engaged in a rich trade, especially as the main link between Europe and Asia; all VenetiaVenetia
, Ital. Veneto or Venezia Euganea, region (1991 pop. 4,380,797), 7,095 sq mi (18,376 sq km), NE Italy, bordering on the Gulf of Venice (an arm of the Adriatic Sea) in the east and on Austria in the north.
..... Click the link for more information. on the mainland was conquered; and Venetian ambassadors, creators of the modern diplomatic servicediplomatic service,
organized body of agents maintained by governments to communicate with one another. Origins
Until the 15th cent. any formal communication or negotiation among nations was conducted either by means of ambassadors specially appointed for a
..... Click the link for more information. , made the power of the city felt at every court of the known world. The arsenal (founded 1104; rebuilt in the 15th and 16th cent.), where ships were built, was one of the world's wonders.
The decline of Venice can be dated from the fall (1453) of Constantinople to the Turks, which greatly reduced trade with the Levant, or from the discovery of America and of the Cape of Good Hope route to Asia, which transferred commercial power to Spain and other nations to the west of Italy. The effects were not felt immediately, however, and Venice continued its proud and lavish ways. In the Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
..... Click the link for more information. , it challenged both the emperor and the pope; the League of Cambrai, formed (1508) by Pope Julius II to humble Venice, merely resulted in a few minor losses of the city's territory; the naval victory of LepantoLepanto, battle of
, Oct. 7, 1571, naval battle between the Christians and Ottomans fought in the strait between the gulfs of Pátrai and Corinth, off Lepanto (Návpaktos), Greece. The fleet of the Holy League commanded by John of Austria (d.
..... Click the link for more information. (1571) gave Venice renewed standing by undoing Turkish sea power.
The Renaissance marked the height of Venice's artistic glory. Architects like the LombardoLombardo
, Italian family of sculptors and architects. Emigrants from Lombardy c.1470, they were leaders in the architectural Renaissance in Venice. Pietro Lombardo, c.
..... Click the link for more information. family, Jacopo SansovinoSansovino, Jacopo
, 1486–1570, Italian sculptor and architect of the Renaissance. His surname was taken in place of his own, Tatti, as homage to the Florentine sculptor Andrea Sansovino, under whom he was apprenticed.
..... Click the link for more information. , and PalladioPalladio, Andrea
, 1508–80, Italian architect of the Renaissance. Originally a stonemason, he was trained as an architect in Vicenza, and later in Rome he examined the remains of Roman architecture.
..... Click the link for more information. , and the Venetian school of painting, which besides its giants—TitianTitian
, c.1490–1576, Venetian painter, whose name was Tiziano Vecellio, b. Pieve di Cadore in the Dolomites. Of the very first rank among the artists of the Renaissance, Titian was extraordinarily versatile, painting portraits, landscapes, and sacred and historical
..... Click the link for more information. and TintorettoTintoretto
, 1518–94, Venetian painter, whose real name was Jacopo Robusti. Tintoretto is considered one of the greatest painters in the Venetian tradition. He was called Il Tintoretto [little dyer] from his father's trade.
..... Click the link for more information. —also included Giovanni BelliniBellini
, illustrious family of Venetian painters of the Renaissance. Jacopo Bellini , c.1400–1470, was a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano. He worked in Padua, Verona, Ferrara, and Venice.
..... Click the link for more information. , Jacopo PalmaPalma, Jacopo
, c.1480–1528, Venetian painter, called Palma Vecchio. He formed his style under the influence of Giovanni Bellini, Titian, and Giorgione and ranks as one of the foremost masters of his school.
..... Click the link for more information. (Palma Vecchio), and VeroneseVeronese, Paolo
, 1528–88, Italian painter of the Venetian school. Named Paolo Caliari, he was called Il Veronese from his birthplace, Verona. Trained under a variety of minor local artists, he was more influenced by the works of Giulio Romano, Parmigianino, and
..... Click the link for more information. , gave Venice its present aspect of a city of churches and palaces, floating on water, blazing with color and light, and filled with art treasures. Freedom of expression was complete except to those who actively engaged in politics; the satirist Aretino, the "scourge of princes," chose Venice as his place of residence, and John of SpeyerJohn of Speyer
, d. 1470, first printer in Venice, b. Bavaria. He designed and patented the first type purely roman in character. It appears in Cicero's Epistulae ad familiares and Pliny's Historia naturalis, both printed in 1469.
..... Click the link for more information. , Nicolas JensonJenson or Janson, Nicolas
, d. c.1480, Venetian printer, b. France. Jenson studied printing with Gutenberg at Mainz for three years.
..... Click the link for more information. , and Aldus ManutiusAldus Manutius
or Aldo Manuzio
, 1450–1515, Venetian printer. He was educated as a humanistic scholar and became tutor to several of the great ducal families. One of them, the Pio family, provided him with money to establish a printery in Venice.
..... Click the link for more information. made the city a center of printing.
Decline of Venice to the Present
The fall of CyprusCyprus
, Gr. Kypros, Turk. Kıbrıs, officially Republic of Cyprus, republic (2005 est. pop. 780,000), 3,578 sq mi (9,267 sq km), an island in the E Mediterranean Sea, c.40 mi (60 km) S of Turkey and c.60 mi (100 km) W of Syria.
..... Click the link for more information. (1571), Crete (1669), and the Peloponnesus (1715; see GreeceGreece,
Gr. Hellas or Ellas, officially Hellenic Republic, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,668,000), 50,944 sq mi (131,945 sq km), SE Europe. It occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and borders on the Ionian Sea in the west, on the Mediterranean Sea
..... Click the link for more information. ) to the Turks ended Venetian dominance in the E Mediterranean. Although the dramatist GoldoniGoldoni, Carlo
, 1707–93, Italian dramatist. He was enamored of comedy from childhood, having sketched his first comic drama at eight. He took a degree in law at Padua but thereafter devoted himself to the theater.
..... Click the link for more information. and painters such as TiepoloTiepolo, Giovanni Battista
, 1696–1770, Italian painter, b. Venice. A master of the rococo style, he was the most important Venetian painter and decorator of the 18th cent. His frescoes in the Labia Palace and the doge's palace won him international fame.
..... Click the link for more information. and CanalettoCanaletto
, 1697–1768, Venetian painter, whose original name was Antonio Canal. He studied with his father, Bernardo Canal, a theatrical scene painter, and spent several years in Rome.
..... Click the link for more information. still made Venice the most original artistic city of 18th-century Italy, they represented to some extent the decadence that accompanied the city's commercial and military decline. Politics in 18th-century Venice was aristocratic and stagnant. When, in 1797, Napoleon I delivered Venice to Austria in the Treaty of Campo FormioCampo Formio, Treaty of
, Oct., 1797, peace treaty between France and Austria, signed near Campo Formio, a village near Udine, NE Italy, then in Venetia. It marked the end of the early phases of the French Revolutionary Wars.
..... Click the link for more information. , the republic fell without fighting. During the Risorgimento, however, Venice played a vigorous role under the leadership of Daniele ManinManin, Daniele
1804–57, Venetian leader of the movement to free N Italy from Austrian rule. His father, a Jew, was converted to Christianity and took the name of his patrons, the illustrious Venetian family of Manin.
..... Click the link for more information. ; having expelled the Austrians in 1848, it heroically resisted siege until 1849. In 1866, Venice and Venetia were united with the kingdom of Italy.
Since the 1950s, the city increasingly has been swamped by periodic floods, in part because it has sunk due to the withdrawal of water (now ended) from the aquifers beneath it and because sea levels have risen. Increased air pollution from cars and industrial smoke has contributed to the deterioration of the ancient buildings and works of art, and the high phosphorus and nitrogen content of the lagoon has stimulated algal growth, which has depleted marine life. Such environmental problems have led to a steady depopulation of Venice to the mainland over the past several decades. A major international aid program, begun in the mid-1960s by UNESCO, has searched for ways to preserve Venice; several government studies of Venice's problems have also been undertaken. In 1988, engineers began testing prototypes for a mechanical barrage, or sea gate, which could be raised in time of flooding to close the lagoon, and construction of system of sea gates began in 2003.
See P. G. Molmenti, Venice (tr., 6 vol., 1906–8); A. Tenenti, Piracy and the Decline of Venice, 1560–1615 (tr. 1967); M. Andrieux, Daily Life in Venice in the Time of Casanova (tr. 1972); O. Logan, Culture and Society in Venice, 1470–1790 (1972); W. H. McNeill, Venice: The Hinge of Europe, 1081–1797 (1974, repr. 2009); D. Howard, The Architectural History of Venice (1980); J. J. Norwich, A History of Venice (1982); J. Morris, The World of Venice (rev. ed. 1985); M. Tafuri, Venice and the Renaissance (1989); J. Pemble, Venice Rediscovered (1995); G. Wills, Venice: Lion City (2001); R. Crowley, City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas (2012); T. F. Madden, Venice: A New History (2012).
(Venezia), a city in northeastern Italy, on the shore of the Gulf of Venice on the Adriatic Sea. Administrative center of Veneto District and Venezia Province. Population, 368,000 (1969).
Venice is picturesquely situated on 118 islands in the Venetian Lagoon. The islands are separated by 150 canals, which are spanned by about 400 bridges. All intracity transportation in Venice consists of motorboats, gondolas, and barges. Railroad and motor-vehicle bridges connect the city with the mainland. The Venetian Lagoon is separated from the sea by a spit that is divided by straits, two of which are accessible to oceangoing vessels. The territory occupied by Venice, especially in the center of the city, is subject to gradual settling. During autumn storms on the Adriatic Sea, the water in the canals often rises so high that it inundates the city squares and streets.
History. The first settlements on the territory of Venice—on the lagoon islands near the northern shores of the Adriatic Sea—grew up in the fifth century B.C. During the period of invasions by barbaric tribes (fourth to seventh centuries A.D.), the population grew as refugees poured in from continental Italy. In the middle of the sixth century the islands were conquered by Byzantium but in fact remained independent. On the islands there arose communities which, at approximately the turn of the eighth century, formed a republic headed by a doge. The city of Venice grew up at the beginning of the ninth century on Rialto Island as a center of the duchy. During the ninth and tenth centuries, Venice became a large intermediary center of trade between Western Europe and the East. The crafts that appeared were metalworking, woodworking, fur and leather dressing, the production of textiles and glassware, and shipbuilding. By the end of the tenth century Venice was regarded by Byzantium as an independent state. At this time, the Republic of Venice annexed the Istrian cities of Capodistria, Parenzo, Umago, and Rovigno and sought to subjugate the Dalmatian cities. In the 11th and 12th centuries the Republic of Venice was a rich maritime state that had attained hegemony on the Adriatic Sea owing to its strong fleet. During the first three Crusades (the end of the 11th century to the 12th century) Venice, which rendered military aid to the crusaders, was able to create a chain of strong points on the east coast of the Mediterranean. As a result of the fourth crusade (1202-04), Venice became a Mediterranean empire, taking possession of part of Constantinople, a number of harbors on the Sea of Marmara and in the straits, and Euboea, Crete, and other islands.
At the end of the 13th century the Republic of Venice became an oligarchy. Representatives of 200 to 300 patrician families made up all the higher governmental bodies: the Great Council (which controlled all the affairs of state either directly or through an appellate procedure), the Lesser Council, or Signoria (the republic government), the Senate (which dealt with colonial affairs and foreign policy), and the Council of Forty (the highest judicial body). The doge, who was elected for life, was head of the Lesser Council and the entire republic. At the turn of the 14th century the merchants, removed from power, vainly sought to overthrow this order (the conspiracies of Bocconio in 1299 and Marin Falier in 1355, the uprising of Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310).
The 14th and 15th centuries saw the flowering of Venice. The prolonged struggle of Venice with Genoa ended in the defeat of the Genoese fleet near Chioggia in 1380. Victorious Venice forced its commercial rival out of the eastern part of the Mediterranean and concentrated a substantial part of the Western European trade with the East in its own hands. Venice consolidated its position in Dalmatia and took over several areas in Albania and the Ionic Islands. From the 14th century to the beginning of the 16th, Venice greatly expanded its possessions on the continent. (Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Ravenna, Cremona, Rimini, and others were annexed.)
The seizure of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 and the shifting of the trade routes from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean as a consequence of the Great Geographic Discoveries dealt a heavy blow to the power of Venice. Wars between Venice and the Turks in the 15th to 18th centuries, as a consequence of which Venice lost almost all its possessions in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean, played a paramount role in undermining Venetian trade, resulting in its drastic economic and political decline in the 17th and 18th centuries.
In 1797, Venice was occupied by the armies of the French Directorate commanded by Napoleon Bonaparte. By the terms of the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, almost the entire territory of the Republic of Venice was turned over to Austria, but after the Treaty of Pressburg in 1805 it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. The Congress of Vienna of 1814-15 again put Venice under Austrian domination. In March 1848, during the Revolution of 1848-49, a republic was proclaimed in Venice. However, in August 1849, after a heroic defense, it fell under the blows of the Austrian Army. The Treaty of Vienna of 1866 made Venice a part of the Kingdom of Italy.
During the fascist German occupation of 1943-45, Venice was a major center of the Resistance Movement. On Apr. 28, 1945, a popular uprising began in Venice, and by April 29 it was liberated.
N. P. SOKOLOV
Economy. Venice is a major commercial and military port. (The freight turnover was 15.8 million tons in 1966; passenger traffic was 250,000 persons.) It is also an air-transportation center.
Industry in the city is poorly developed and is represented mainly by old enterprises, among which are the state shipbuilding and ship-repairing plant (the Arsenal): two private shipyards; paper, printing, food, and knitwear enterprises; electromechanical workshops; and enterprises engaged in the traditional Venetian manufacture of glass (Murano Island), lace (Burano Island), and mosaic articles. The mainland suburbs of Venice—Porto Marghera, Fusina, and Mestre—are of industrial importance. There are large plants in Porto Marghera (alumina, aluminum, zinc-smelting, petroleum refining, chemical-coke, and petrochemical plants, a plant producing fluorine and fluorine compounds, and a shipyard), many of which were constructed after World War II. The suburb of Fusina has new aluminum and aluminum-rolling plants. Mestre has railroad workshops, transportation machine building plants, and petroleum refineries. Lido Island, a suburb of Venice, is a well-known international coastal spa. It is also the site of the Venice airport. A community of Armenian Mekhitarists lives on San Lazzaro Island; their library contains valuable ancient Armenian manuscripts. Venice has a trade institute, a medical school, an institute for the study of the Adriatic Sea, and an academy of fine arts.
The unusual location of the city and its many architectural monuments and extremely rich art collections attract many tourists; there is an especially heavy influx during international film festivals, modern art exhibitions, and festivals of modern theater, music and so on. Tourism and the hotel industry play an important role in the city’s economic life.
T. A. GALKINA
Architecture. The architecture of Venice took shape from the 14th century to the beginning of the 16th, during the greatest flowering of the Republic of Venice. The richly decorated church buildings, the splendid facades of the palaces (which are often covered with colored marble inlays, tracery galleries, and windows with patterned decorations), the light curvilinear bridges (which are reflected in the waters of the lagoons and the many canals), and the narrow crooked streets with continuous rows of three- and four-story houses invest the city with quaint and festive charm. At the center of Venice, framed by the buildings of the Procuratie Vecchie (1480-1514) and the Procuratie Nuove (1584-1640), is the Piazza San Marco, with the five-domed St. Mark’s Cathedral (829-832) and the Campanile (a bell tower, 888-1517; since 1537 the Loggetta, by J. Sansovino, has been at its base). St. Mark’s Cathedral was reconstructed in 1073-95; the facade was completed in the 15th century and the bronze Byzantine doors in the 11th century; over the central portal are four bronze horses of the fourth to third centuries B.C. that were brought from Constantinople in 1204; and the interior has marble mosaic floors and mosaics of the 12th to 14th centuries. Next to the Piazza San Marco is the Piazzetta, which opens onto the lagoon. Flanking it are the Old Library of San Marco (1536-54, J. Sansovino; completed in 1583) and the Doges’ Palace (begun in the ninth century; completed in the 14th to 16th centuries). The Bridge of Sighs (1600) adjoins the palace on the east and connects it with the prisons (1560-1614). To the north are the Piazza Santi Giovanni e Paolo, with a Gothic church of the same name (1246-1430); the building of the religious fraternity Scuola Grande di San Marco (1488-90); and an equestrian monument to the condottiere Colleoni (1479-88, unveiled in 1496; sculptor A. del Verrocchio). Along the S-shaped Grand Canal, which traverses the city, are palaces in Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque styles—among them the Ca’ d’Oro (1422-40, G. and B. Bon), Vendramin Calergi (1481-1509, completed by P. Lombardo), Corner Spinelli (late 15th to early 16th centuries), Corner (from 1532), Rezzonico (1660), and Pesaro (finished in 1710)—and the Rialto Bridge (1588-92).
Churches in the Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque style include Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (1338-1443, with altar paintings by Titian), San Zaccharia (begun in the tenth century and rebuilt in 1444-65; facade completed at the end of the 15th century), Santa Maria dei Miracoli (1481-89, P. Lombardo), II Redentore (completed 1592, Palladio), Santa Maria della Salute (1631-81, B. Longhena), and Scuola Grande di San Rocco (1517-50, with paintings by Tintoretto). The church and monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore (1565-80, Palladio) are on the island of the same name. Construction carried out in the 20th century includes Porto Marghera (a new industrial and residential district on the mainland; from 1917), the Casa delle Zattere (1957), and the Santa Lucia railroad station (1956), as well as the Academy Gallery, the Correr Museum (art of the 14th to 16th centuries), the International Gallery of Modern Art (in the Pesaro Palace), the Archaeological Museum, and the G. Franchetti Gallery (in Ca’ d’Oro). On Torcello Island there is a cathedral (seventh to 11th centuries) with mosaic decorations of the ninth and 12th centuries; the Romanesque Church of Santi Maria e Donato (12th century) and the Glasswork Museum are on Murano Island. The International Exhibition of Modern Art (the Biennale; established in 1895) is held in Venice every two years.
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Vsevolozhskaia, S. N. Venetsiia. Leningrad, 1970.
Kretschmayr, H. Geschichte von Venedig, [vols.] 1-3. Gotha, 1905-34.
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Thiriet, F. Histoire de Venise. Paris, 1961.
Brunetti, M., and G. Lorenzetti. Venezia nella storia e nell’arte. Venice, 1950.
Decker, H. Venedig. Vienna, 1952.
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Muratori, S. Studi per una operante storia urbana della città de Venezia. Rome, 1961.
Carnival is still observed in most of Europe and the Americas. It features masked balls, lavish costume parades, torch processions, dancing, fireworks, noisemaking, and of course feasting on all the foods that will have to be given up for Lent. Ordinarily Carnival includes only the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday ( see Fasching), but sometimes it begins on the preceding Friday or even earlier. In Brazil, Carnival is the major holiday of the year.
See also Karneval in Cologne and Shrove Tuesday
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Celebrated in: Argentina, Aruba, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Hungary, India, Malta, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
The tincunaco ceremony is an important part of the Carnival celebration in other areas of Argentina. The ceremony symbolizes the sacred ties that unite a mother and her child's godmother. It takes place under an arch made from a branch taken from a willow tree and decorated with fruit, sweets, cheese, blossoms, and lanterns. The mothers line up on one side of the arch, the godmothers on the other. They move toward one another until they meet under the arch. There they touch foreheads and pass a child made from candy from one to the other. The celebration usually draws to a close with the mock funeral of Pukllay, the spirit of Carnival. One woman, chosen to act as Pukllay's wife, cries about her husband's death. The others tap drums and sing Carnival tunes. Pukllay—usually a rag doll dressed in native costume—is laid to rest in a freshly dug grave showered with blossoms and sweets.
National Secretariat of Tourism, Tourist Information Centers
Av. Santa Fe 883
Buenos Aires, C1059ABC Argentina
54-11-4312-2232; fax: 54-11-4302-7816
FiestaTime-1965, p. 53
Celebrated in: Argentina
The highlight is the Carnival Main Parade, which takes eight hours to wind its way through the streets of Oranjestad. It includes elaborate floats and people in colorful costumes dancing the jump-up, a dance performed to a half-march rhythm. The three-day festival comes to an end with the Old Mask Parade, followed by the traditional burning of "King Momo."
Aruba Tourism Authority
One Financial Pl., Ste. 2508
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33394
954-767-6477; fax: 954-767-0432
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 4
Celebrated in: Aruba
3014 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-483-4410; fax: 202-328-3712
FiestaTime-1965, p. 46
Celebrated in: Bolivia
The high point of the Carioca (as the natives of Rio are known) Carnival is the parade of the samba schools ( Escola de Samba ), which begins on Carnival Sunday and ends about midday on Monday. The samba schools are neighborhood groups, many of whom come from the humblest sections of Rio, who develop their own choreography, costumes, and theme songs. The competition among them is as fierce as the rivalry of top sports teams. A single samba school can have as many as two to three thousand participants, so the scale of the parade can only be described as massive. People spend months learning special dances for the parade, and must often raise huge sums of money to pay for their costumes, which range from a few strategically placed strings of beads to elaborate spangled and feathered headdresses. Each samba school dances the length of the Sambadrome, a one-of-a-kind samba stadium designed by Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1984 to allow 85,000 spectators to watch the samba schools dance by. Viewing the parade from the Sambadrome is usually an all-night affair.
In recent years, more and more of Carnival has moved into clubs, the Club Monte Libano being one of the most famous. The Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest held by transvestites on Sugarloaf Mountain is among the most unusual events.
Rio de Janeiro Tourism Authority
Praca Pio X, 119 - 9? andar - Centro
Rio de Janeiro-RJ-, Cep 20040-020 Brasil
55-21-2271-7000; fax: 55-21-531-1872
BkHolWrld-1986, Feb 25
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 193
EncyEaster-2002, p. 38
EncyRel-1987, vol. 3, p. 102
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 136
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 24
Celebrated in: Brazil
2118 Leroy Pl. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-387-8338; fax: 202-232-8643
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 64
Celebrated in: Colombia
The comparsas remain the highlight of Carnival. About 18 of these dance groups, which come from all parts of the island, entertain Carnival goers with well-orchestrated spectacles of song, dance, and gorgeous costume. Some of the comparsas—composed of ordinary people from all walks of life—have been in existence for nearly 100 years. Each brings its own band and pauses at several points along the parade route to present its choreographic spectacle. This usually includes a conga line, whose characteristic step may represent an attempt to mimic the foot-dragging gait of slaves in chains.
Under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro, Carnival has become somewhat more restrained. Floats and dramatic spectacles are often utilitized for propaganda purposes and to ridicule the country's political enemies. In recent years Carnival has been held over two or more weeks in late July and early August and associated with National Day on July 26 ( see Cuba Liberation Day).
FiestaTime-1965, p. 38
Celebrated in: Cuba
Carnival (Goa, India)
Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
Trionara Apts, Dr. Alvares Costa Rd.
Panaji, Goa 403 001 India
91-832-2424001; fax: 91-832-2423926
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 140
Celebrated in: India
The last three days before Ash Wednesday are particularly boisterous and exciting in Port-au-Prince, the capital. Almost everyone appears in costume, blowing noisemakers or playing musical instruments. Floats are pulled through the streets, decorated with bird feathers, palm fronds, flowers, and seashells as well as more mundane materials such as bottle caps, ribbons, and fabric. Because the merrymakers wear masks, they feel free to make fun of political leaders and local institutions. Although the Port-au-Prince celebration is the largest in Haiti, even wilder ones are held in Jacmel, Cap Haitien, Cayes, and JÉrÉmie.
See also Carnival Lamayote; Rara
2311 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-332-4090; fax: 202-745-7215
BkHolWrld-1986, Feb 9
FestWrld: Haiti-1999, p. 8
FiestaTime-1965, p. 40
Celebrated in: Haiti
Carnival (Hungary) (Farsang)
In southern Hungary, masks known as busó that are passed down from one generation to the next are worn during Mardi Gras. They are made out of carved wood painted with ox blood, with animal skins covering the top and ram's horns emerging from either side. Although at one time only adult married men could wear these masks, young unmarried men now wear them, shaking huge wooden rattles, shooting off cannons, and teasing women with long sticks topped by sheepskin gourds. In Slovenia, these masks have dangling red tongues, and the men wearing them run around in groups carrying clubs covered at one end with the skins of hedgehogs. The Busó parade in Mohács is said to be the biggest carnival event in Hungary.
Hungarian National Tourist Office
350 Fifth Ave., Ste. 7107
New York, NY 10118
212-695-1221; fax: 212-695-0809
BkFest-1937, p. 166
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 140
Celebrated in: Hungary
Malta National Tourist Office
65 Broadway, Ste. 823
New York, NY 10006
212-430-3799; fax: 425-795-3425
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 142
Celebrated in: Malta
Carnival (Martinique and Guadeloupe)
The celebration continues right through Ash Wednesday, when thousands of masked, costumed she-devils (many of whom are men in drag) have a parade of their own. Everyone wears black and white, and dark-skinned faces are smeared with ash. Effigies of King Vaval and his alter ego, Bois-Bois, tower over the procession. That night the effigies are burned, and Vaval's coffin is lowered into the ground.
Martinique Promotion Bureau
444 Madison Ave., 16th Fl.
New York, NY 10022
800-391-4909 or 212-838-7800; fax: 212-838-7855
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 133
Carnival in Mexico is known for drama as well as dance. In Zaachila, Oaxaca State, there is a mock battle between priests and devils. In Huejotzingo, Puebla State, an elaborate drama staged over a period of three or four days dramatizes the exploits of the bandit Agustin Lorenzo and the woman with whom he elopes. Carnival is celebrated in Mexico City with fireworks, parades, street dancers, and costume balls.
See also St. Martin's Carnival
Mexico Tourism Board
21 E. 63rd St., Fl. 3
New York, NY 10021
800-446-3942 or 212-821-0314; fax: 212-821-0367
DictFolkMyth-1984, pp. 193, 197, 220, 759
IntlThFolk-1979, p. 278
Celebrated in: Mexico
See also Burial of the Sardine
Embassy of Panama
2862 McGill Terr. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-483-1407; fax: 202-483-8413
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 144
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 147
Celebrated in: Panama
Although Carnival is celebrated throughout Peru, the events are not as elaborate as those in neighboring Brazil.
Commission for the Promotion of Peru
Calle Uno Oeste No. 50, piso 13th
Lima, 27 Peru
51-1-4224-3131; fax: 51-1-224-7134
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 37
Celebrated in: Peru
There are balls, parties, and dances in the cities, but in rural areas many of the more uninhibited Carnival traditions persist. The folía (literally, "madness"), a fertility dance associated with the Portuguese Carnival celebration, is named after the quick and crazy movements of the participants. Mummers and musicians, the burial in effigy of King Carnival, and traditional folk plays are also part of these rural Carnival observances.
Portuguese National Tourist Office
590 Fifth Ave., 4th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
800-767-8842 or 212-354-4403; fax: 212-764-6137
BkFest-1937, p. 267
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 34
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 397
EncyRel-1987, vol. 3, p. 101
Celebrated in: Portugal
Throwing flowers and confetti at bystanders from blossom-decked cars is another Carnival tradition in Spain. Some towns even stage a battle of flowers. A particularly colorful celebration is held in Valencia, where the orange trees are in bloom at this time of year.
The city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosts what many consider the most Brazilesque Carnival celebration in Spain. Parades and musical and dance contests fill the days leading up to Ash Wednesday, when there are fireworks and the traditional Burial of the Sardine.
BkFest-1937, p. 298
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 34
DictFolkMyth-1984, pp. 105, 178, 980
EncyRel-1987, vol. 3, p. 101
FestWestEur-1958, p. 191
Celebrated in: Spain
In Basel, the lights of the city go out at 4:00 a.m., when fife and drum bands perform in the market square. Then members of the Carnival guilds, wearing wild masks and costumes, parade through the streets with lanterns on long poles or perched on their heads, to the accompaniment of pipers and drummers. Frightening masks are also worn during the Carnival celebration at Flums, where they represent such notions as war, death, or disease. At Einsiedeln, "Carnival Runners" dash through the city's thoroughfares from Sunday to Ash Wednesday morning, displaying frightening masks and huge jangling bells strapped to their backs. The masks and bells found in many Swiss Carnival traditions are believed to have survived from ancient times, when people "drove out winter" with loud sounds and frightening masks.
In some parts of Switzerland it is the children who parade through the streets at Carnival, singing and carrying the national flag. The boys dress in costumes that offer clues to their fathers' professions and the girls masquerade as fairies.
608 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10020
877-794-8037 or 212-757-5944; fax: 212-262-6116
Basel Fasnacht Online
Basel, 4051 Switzerland
BkFest-1937, p. 316
BkHolWrld-1986, Mar 4
EncyEaster-2002, p. 593
FestWestEur-1958, p. 230
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 147
Celebrated in: Switzerland
Carnival (U.S. Virgin Islands)
Preliminary events begin a week or more beforehand, and the official Carnival period runs from Sunday until midnight the following Saturday. It begins with the opening of Calypso Tent, a week-long calypso song competition for the coveted title of "Calypso King." The celebrations include the crowning of a Carnival Queen, children's parades, a J'Ouvert morning tramp, steel bands, and dancing in the streets. The climax comes on Saturday with the grand carnival parade, featuring limbo dancers, masked figures, and mock stick-fights between Carib Indians and "Zulus." The celebration winds up with one of the most elaborate all-day parades in the Caribbean, featuring the Mocko Jumbi Dancers. These are colorful dancers on 17-foot stilts whose dances and customs derived from ancient cult traditions brought to the islands by African slaves.
US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
P.O. Box 6400
St. Thomas, VI 00804
800-372-8784 or 340-774-8784; fax: 340-774-4390
AnnivHol-2000, p. 73
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 36
GdUSFest-1984, p. 221
Celebrated in: US Virgin Islands
Italian university students, usually in more innovative costumes, pour into Venice as Ash Wednesday draws near. The rhythm of the celebration quickens, evidenced by a number of spectacular costume balls. The costume ball given at Teatro La Fenice—a benefit for charity—is known for attracting film stars, members of European nobility, and other rich and famous people.
Comune di Venezia
San Marco, Venice 04136 Italy
EncyEaster-2002, p. 305
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 141