How Was Venice Built?

The City of Venice is one of its kind and a unique city the world over. The striking feature about the city is that it is built on a set of over a hundred submerged islands in the midst of a lagoon. To construct a city over these low lying muddy islands was a wonder, and the citizens evolved new techniques to bring fore a unique city. The early citizens made rafts from larch. Timber piles were inserted deep into the island to support the rafts. Oak and Pine wood brought from the forests of northern Veneto was used to shape the piles. This framework of piles formed a flexible and strong foundation under the solid compressed clay of the islands. Water-proof stones from Istria were used and placed on the rafts that were supported by the piles.

Buildings, then, were made atop this framework. To keep the weight minimal, buildings were constructed from wood. This, however, made the city prone to fire risks. This technique, which may sound a bit shaky, has withstood the vagaries of time, as some buildings today are as old as 400 years.

Since Venice was built on a number of islands, the canals are a natural phenomenon. But some manmade canals too were built using the age-old convention of blocking an end and digging through the water-way before doing away with the temporary block to flood the canals. Canals separating the islands are connected through bridges, which help keep in touch the self-contained communities.