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Everything You Need to Know About the Grand Canal in Venice

Maya Pillai Nov 11, 2020
The Grand Canal of Venice is an important waterway that snakes through the city in an "S" shape.
The Canal is also known as Canalazzo passes through the central districts of Venice which has many 12th and 17th century historical buildings.
The length of the Grand Canal is 3.8 km long. While the depth and the width varies from place to place.
Remember, Grand Canal is a canal and not a river. That is the water comes in from the surrounding lagoon that is connected to the Adriatic Sea.
Like in the sea, the Venetian Canals also have tides. Every time the direction of the tide changes, the flow of water in Venice also change. This happens once in every 6 hours.
Grand Canal was the center of Venetian trades for many centuries. Over a period of time, Venice grew in power and wealth that Rialto became a very prominent market in Europe.
The evidence is there in the huge buildings called Fondachi, that were the warehouses and inns of those days. It's still in use.
Grand Canal is not only used as a waterway, but also as a place of social gathering for festivals such as Santa's Regattas, Befana and Venetian frescoes.
Grand Canal has 4 bridges that were built in different eras. Let's have at each of them.
Ponte della Costituzione/ Constitution Bridge
This is the most recent bridge built in the year 2008. It connects the railway station and Piazzale Roma.
It was built by a Spanish Architect Calatrava.
Ponte degli Scalzi/Barefoot Bridge
Built in 1934, this bridge is located on the left of the train station.
Ponte di Rialto/Rialto Bridge
The oldest and most important bridge in Venice. It was the only bridge present at the time of the Venetian Republic.
It was a drawbridge built in 1250. It allowed the big sail ships to sail between the districts of Saint Mark and San Polo.
It was damaged several times and the bridge you see today was built by Antonio da Ponte in 1591.
Ponte dell’Accademia/ Accademia Bridge
The only wooden bridge across Grand Canal. It got its name from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, the Fine Arts Academy of Venice, which was founded in Venice in 1807 that is in proximity.
Santa Maria della Salute
An impressive landmark along the Grand Canal is this church that was built in 1630 to mark the end of the plague.
Palazzo Corner della Ca' Grande
Finest example of the Renaissance architecture in Venice. It was built in 1545 by the sculptor Jacopo Sansovino for the Cornaro family.
Palazzo Grassi
This 3-storied palace features both Baroque and Classical architecture.It was built in the late 18th century before the fall of Venetian Republic.
Palazzo Grassi was later acquired by Fiat Motor Company. They renovated this palace extensively.
Ca' Foscari
A 15th century building with four floors. Today it is one of the important Late Gothic buildings in Venice.
It belonged a powerful family named Doge Francesco until it was captured by the Turks in 1454. In the 16th century, King Henry III of France used this palace as his residence.
Ca' d'Oro
A prominent landmark while gliding through the Grand Canal is Ca' d'Oro. It is a perfect Venetian Gothic Architecture.
Over the years it lost its original rich paint and gilding, it is still beautiful. Today its a museum which displays how the Venetian nobles lived during the late Middle Ages.
Venice is a unique city that is built on a lagoon. The city  divided by the waters of the lagoon has amazing and gorgeous building on both sides of the Grand Canal. These palace stand stall to tell the history, tradition and culture of the bygone era.  Add this city to your bucket list.