Rialto bridge

Rialto Bridge is one of Venice’s iconic locations. It is one of the four bridges across the Grand Canal and the oldest one. Initially a food market was located in this region and there was a pontoon bridge. With the development of Venice the importance of the market increased as well. This led to the replacement of the pontoon bridge with a massive wooden bridge.  It had movable central part which was rising so that the passage of larger vessels was made possible. The maintenance of the wooden construction was extremely important. Gradually on both sides of the bridge many shops were opened. The rent which was collected was used for the maintenance. Despite this however in 1444 while the crowd was watching the parade with boats on the wedding of marquis Ferrara, the bridge collapsed under its weight. This tragedy repeated in 1551.

Description: Rialto bridge /picture source: Shutterstock.com/

Venice was an important trading port. Many merchants moored their ships to the Venetian docks in order to unload their cargo and load new one. For a long time Rialto was the only bridge across Grand Canal. This lasted until 1854 when the bridge of the Academy was built. The first ideas for a stone bridge appeared as early as 1503 and were a subject of discussion for the next few decades. The bridge as we see it today was constructed by Antonio de Ponta. It followed the curves of the old wooden bridge. Rialto has a shape of a rainbow with length of 28 meters rising up to 7, 5 meters above the water level. On both sides of the portico there are covered shops where the visitors of the city can find interesting souvenirs – mostly glass and leather goods.

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