The city of Venice was founded shortly after 568. For eight centuries it was the capital of the Republic of Venice. Famous for its canals, its St. Mark’s Square and its Doge’s Palace as well as for its carnival, the city of the Doges is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
It is because of changes in sea level, the invasion of Teutonic tribes in Italy that the first refugees, inhabitants of Aquileia, Padua and other cities of northern Italy, arrived on the Venetian lagoon. The arrival of the Lombards in the region, around 568, triggered a massive migration to the coast and its islets. It was in Rialto, one of the districts of Venice, that the central core of the city was built in the 10th century. Although it was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, the city had a real autonomy. The inhabitants founded their own government and made their city a republic in 697 by electing the first doge.
Following its economic boom, Venice developed a policy of expansion that allowed it to impose its control over the Adriatic in the 11th century. It is with the IVth crusade that the city established its power in the East.
Since the 11th century, Venice has been considered the greatest economic power in the Mediterranean. Thanks to its doge and its great merchant families, the city became the main commercial intermediary between the East and the Christian world.
In the 14th century, it gained supremacy over Genoa in the Mediterranean and its expansion ambitions turned towards the Venetian hinterland. Conflicts with Milan, the Habsburgs of Austria and France broke out. Defeated at Agnadello in 1509, Venice entered a phase of inevitable decline.
Although on the decline at the economic level, the city turns out on the contrary quite alive on the level of the spirit. The city’s cultural influence was enhanced by artistic commissions from wealthy families and the Catholic Church. Famous artists were born or worked there, such as Titian, Veronese, the Bellinis,…
In the XVIII century, this refined city influenced the whole artistic world.
Venice is also a city where the party reigns permanently, the carnival lasted six months of the year and everything was pretext to festivities. The origin of the first public opera houses dates back to this colorful period.
In 1797, the Republic of Venice was conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte who ceded it to Austria with the Treaty of Campo Formio, it was reunited with the Kingdom of Italy in 1805 and then returned to Austria in 1813.
Protagonist of the Risorgimento struggles, Venice was integrated into the kingdom of Italy in 1866 following the third war of independence.
Between 1841 and 1846, Venice lost its insularity with the construction of a railway bridge and then a road to the Rialto. However, thanks to these works, the city regained its attractiveness and saw the development of cultural tourism.
Nevertheless, Venice had to face, in the second half of the 20th century, the evils of air and water pollution that threatened the buildings and the fauna. In 1966, it underwent a major flood that allowed the authorities to become aware of the rising waters.
An ambitious project called Moses is proposed in 1989 whose goal is to counter the invasion of the lagoon by the tides.