History of Venice

Brief history of Venice summarized

A pleasant and brief journey through the history of Venice, the city of canals and love.

Venice in the Middle Ages

According to tradition, Venice was founded in AD 421. At that time a Celtic people called the Veneti lived along the coast of what is now northeastern Italy. From 49 BC they were Roman citizens.

However, in the year 453 Attila, the Huns invaded Italy. In terror some Venetians fled to the islands in the lagoon and built a town there. They soon formed a federation. Then, in 568 AD, a people called the Lombards invaded the mainland and many Venetians fled to the islands, increasing the population.

At first Venice was controlled by the Byzantine Empire (the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived the fall of Rome). However, in 726 the Venetians partially gained their independence and elected Orso Ipato as dux (their word for duke).

In 810 the Franks tried but failed to conquer the Venetians. Meanwhile, Venice flourished as a commercial center and ships sailed to and from its ports. Its population grew steadily. In the year 828 the body of Saint Mark was smuggled from Egypt to Venice. San Marcos then became the patron saint of the city.

In the Middle Ages, Venice continued to flourish as a port and commercial center. Meanwhile, in 1199 a fourth crusade was proposed. The Venetians agreed to build a fleet of ships to transport the Crusaders. However, when the Crusader army was assembled, they were unable to pay for the ships.

So the Venetians convinced them to join an expedition to raid Constantinople. The Venetians and Crusaders captured the city in 1204 and sacked it. Venice also participated in other wars at that time. The Italian city of Genoa was a powerful rival to Venice and during the 13th and 14th centuries the Genoese and Venetians fought 5 wars.

Furthermore, in 1348, the Black Death devastated the population of Venice. Therefore, in 1403 Venice introduced quarantine. Ships arriving from infected areas had to stop at an island called Lazaretto and passengers had to wait 40 days before being allowed to enter the city.

In the fifteenth century Venice faced a new threat: the Turks. In 1453 they captured Constantinople and then advanced into southeastern Europe. In 1489 Venice came to rule Cyprus. However, in 1571 the Turks conquered the island.

Also, in 1508 several European countries formed the League of Cambrai and went to war against Venice. However, after 8 years of war, the map remained practically unchanged.

Modern Venice

More serious for Venice was the discovery of North and South America. The result was that trade moved away from the Mediterranean. Furthermore, in 1630 Venice was struck again by the plague.

During the seventeenth century Venice was losing power and influence. In the 18th century, Venice was politically unimportant, although the arts such as opera flourished. Then, in 1797, Napoleon dissolved the Republic of Venice. However, after his fall in 1815, Venice was given to Austria.

The railway reached Venice in 1846. However, Venice did not prosper under Austrian rule. In 1848 revolutions swept through Europe and Venice revolted against the Austrians. For a short period Daniele Manin became president of an independent Venice.

However, Austrian forces bombarded the city, and Venice was forced to surrender in August 1849. However, in 1866 the Austrians were defeated by the Prussians, and Venice was able to join the new nation of Italy.

In the late 19th century, Venice flourished as a port and manufacturing center. Then in 1933 Mussolini built a mainland road to Venice. During World War II Venice was not damaged by the fighting, but the Jewish population was deported.

In 1966 Venice suffered a serious flood, but the city soon recovered. Today tourism is the mainstay of Venice. However, the population of Venice has fallen sharply since the mid-19th century. Today the population of Venice is 264,000 inhabitants.

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