A Province Of Italy, in Venetia, bordering on the Adriatic and the provinces of Udine, Treviso, Padua, and Rovigo; area, 850 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 337,538. The lagoons occupy half of the territory, but the tongue of land extending over 20 m. between them and the sea, and some of the islands, have fertile spots, where agriculture is improving. The principal rivers are the Adige, Brenta, and Piave. It is divided into the districts of Chioggia, Dolo, Mestre, Mirano, Portogruaro, San Dona, and Venice.
A City, capital of the province, on the gulf of Venice, as the N. W. part of the Adriatic is called, in lat. 45° 26' N. and Ion. 12° 20' E., 155 m. E. of Milan, and 250 m. N. by W. of Rome; pop. in 1872, 128,094. It stands in the midst of lagoons, collectively known as the lagoon of Venice, originally formed by the retreating of the sea. At Venice they are separated from the sea by a tongue of land (lido), extending at a distance of about 4 m. from the coast, and divided by gaps or cuttings, some of which form harbors (porti), and enclose numerous small islands into which piles were driven for the construction of the city. There are more than 100 canals, provided with small quays, and communication is further kept up by small streets, lanes, alleys, and courts, which with few exceptions are ill paved and overcrowded, and by about 400 bridges, generally steep but with easy steps. A viaduct 2 m. long, with over 200 arches, connects Venice with the principal railways at the Mestre junction. The two broadest canals, Delia Giudecca and San Marco, divide the city proper from the island and suburb of Giudecca and from the island of San Giorgio. The so-called great canal (canalazzo) divides the city proper into two parts, and is spanned by two iron bridges erected in 1854 and 1858, and by the Rialto bridge, built of marble by Antonio da Ponte in 1588-'91, and called after the largest island (isola del Rialto, from il rivo alto, the deep stream). The canals are protected by batteries on both sides, and connected with Malamocco, Chioggia, and other harbors, and with the mainland, the former harbor (porto di Malamocco) being the deepest of all, and enabling large ships to come up to the city.
The great canal is lined with magnificent buildings at the water's edge, from which there is immediate access to gondolas, of which there are more than 4,000, all painted black, in accordance with an old regulation. The circumference of the city is about 8 m. It seems from every direction to be floating on water, and presents a unique appearance of fairy-like picturesqueness. The finest and most animated part is St. Mark's place, about 575 ft. long and 185 to 270 ft. broad, containing the cathedral and the doge's palace, bordered by arcades, and surrounded by stately edifices. The Piazzetta or smaller square at the end of St. Mark's place extends to the principal quay (molo). At each end of the Rialto bridge are also open spaces, and on the top of the bridge are three busy passages, divided by rows of shops. But the only street worthy of the name is the Merceria, the great commercial thoroughfare, which is connected with the Rialto by intricate and overcrowded lanes. - Of the churches, the most important is St. Mark's, on the E. side of the square, which was formerly the ducal chapel, but is now superseded by San Pietro di Castello as the cathedral.
The foundations of the present edifice were laid in 977. It is built chiefly in the Byzantine style, in the form of a Greek cross with the addition of large porticoes. Venetian vessels were obliged to bring from the East pillars and marbles for the edifice, the principal front of which has 500 columns of various shapes and colors. Over the central portal of the vestibule stand the celebrated bronze horses, brought from the hippodrome of Constantinople when that city was taken by the crusaders; they were carried to Paris by Napoleon, but restored in 1815. The cathedral is surmounted by five domes, the central one 90 and the others 80 ft. high. The interior is rather sombre, owing to the limited number of windows, but it is exceedingly rich, the walls and columns being of precious marbles, the pavement of tessellated marble, and the vaulting of mosaics upon a gold ground. Near the angle of the squares is the campanile or bell tower of St. Mark, where Galileo made many observations. It is a quadrangular mass of brick, 323 ft. high and 42 ft. square at the base, with a pyramidal pinnacle. There are altogether about 100 churches, and several synagogues. Santi Giovanni Paolo, popularly called San Zanipolo, contains the monuments of many doges and other illustrious persons.
Titian's "St. Peter Martyr," one of its greatest ornaments, was destroyed by fire in 1807. The Franciscan church (Sta. Maria Gloriosa de' Frari) contains the ancient archives and monuments of Titian and Canova. Sta. Maria della Salute possesses Titian's " Descent of the Holy Spirit," and since 1820 the remains of Sansovino.
St. Mark's Place.
On The Giudecca Island Redentore, is regarded as Palladio's masterpiece. San Salvatore, near the Rialto bridge, possesses Titian's "Transfiguration," and splendid monuments by Sansovino, one of the chief architects of the building. Among other noteworthy churches are S. Giorgio Maggiore, S. Zaccaria, SS. Apostoli, S. Francesco della Vigna, S. Giorgio de' Greci, S. Jacopo di Rialto, Sta. Lucia, La Madonna dell' Orto, S. Casiano, de' Gesuiti (with the tomb of Manin, the last doge), S. Giobbe, Sta. Maria della Salute,'s. Moise, and S. Stefano, the last being one of the finest in the pointed style. The adjacent island of San Lazaro has been since 1715 the principal seat of the Mekhitarist congregation of Armenian monks, established there by their founder; they are celebrated for editing Armenian works, and for generally promoting Armenian and European literature. (See Mekhitar.) The doge's palace, built early in the 9th century, has been repeatedly destroyed, generally by fire. In the 14th century it was rebuilt by Marino Falieri. The present edifice dates from subsequent periods.
It contains the magnificent hall of the great council, now used as offices of provincial authorities, that of the four gates by Palladio, and that of the formidable council of ten, and other memorable rooms, with embellishments and works of art by the most illustrious masters. In the two lower stories are the cells described in the notes to the fourth canto of Byron's "Childe Harold," and at the top of the palace (sotto piombi, under the leads), exposed to scorching heat in summer and to cold in winter, languished for a long time political and other prisoners amid excruciating sufferings. Silvio Pellico was one of the last confined here. The famous bridge of sighs (ponte dei sospiri) connects the palace with the carceri (public prison), built in 1589 by Da Ponte. The original palace of the great judicial dignitaries of the republic, standing upon 50 arches and filling nearly the whole N. side of St. Mark's square, was converted into a royal palace by Eugene de Beauharnais; and one of Sansovino's grandest structures, the church of San Geminiano, was pulled down in 1810 for its extension.
Pecht's Kunstschcitze Venedigs (Trieste, 1858) contains engravings of all the masterpieces in the churches and palaces of Venice. Several of the palaces have been appropriated to various purposes, such as the Farcetti for the municipality and the Grimani for the post office. The latter is the finest modern palace, and the palazzo Vendramin Calerghi was regarded as the most superb in the 16th century. The modernized Manfrini palace once contained a picture gallery far superior to the present one. The casa d'oro was an oriental gilded palace of the 15th century, and was restored by Taglioni. The mint and custom house are notable public buildings, but the most impressive of ail is the arsenal and dockyard, at the E. end of the city. It was long the most characteristic monument of the great naval power of the republic of Venice. Here are docks and basins, founderies for cannon, forges, an armory, a long ropewalk, and other works. New graving docks and a patent slip are nearly finished. The whole is surrounded by a lofty wall, extends over a circumference of nearly 3 m., and at one time employed 16,000 workmen. At the gate or land entrance are the marble lions brought from Greece at the end of the 17th century.
The vessel (Bucentoro) which was annually used in the doge's so-called marriage with the Adriatic by throwing a ring into the sea, was destroyed by the French at the end of the 18th century, together with other relics in the model room. Adjoining the cathedral is a lofty tower (torre dell' orologio) with a remarkable clock, above the dial of which are two bronze figures popularly known as "Moors," striking the hours on a bell. At the S. end of the Piazzetta are two granite columns, which were surmounted by the winged lion of St. Mark, the emblem of the republic, and St. Theodore standing on a crocodile and bearing a shield and a sword. Among recent monuments are those of Daniele Manin and Goldoni, and one of Byron is projected.
Venice formerly possessed many scuole, lay charitable societies under ecclesiastical patronage; the principal one, that of St. Mark's, now forms part of the great city hospital. The educational institutions comprise, besides the new common schools, a naval college, a lyceum, several gymnasiums, new scientific and polytechnic government schools, and a chair for instruction in Japanese; and there are a museum of the natural sciences, an Athenaaum, and a botanic garden. The library of St. Mark's is now in the doge's palace, and that endowed by Petrarch is in the royal palace. The academy of fine arts, in the former convent de la Carita and designed by Palladio, includes several schools and one of the largest and finest picture galleries in Italy. The municipal museum, founded by Count Correr, has also various works of art; and the pinacoteca Manfredini is in the ecclesiastical seminary connected with the church of Sta. Maria della Salute. Venice abounds with memories of Marco Polo, Petrarch, Titian, Tintoretto, and other illustrious men. The principal theatre is La Fenice, accommodating 3,000 persons.
It was originally built in 1791, and rebuilt after the fire of 1836, and is now one of the finest opera houses in Italy. - Venice has always been celebrated for its glass pearls, beads, and other glass wares, made in the city and on the island of Murano. The ancient manufacture of brocade tapestry has recently been revived, and also that of the lace work, for which the adjacent island of Burano was always celebrated; and a new feature of industry is the imitations of antique furniture, made of pear wood and bone instead of the ebony and ivory formerly used. Among other manufactures are machines, iron and bronze work, gold and silver ware, optical instruments, photographs, and mosaics. The imports in 1873 amounted to $54,086,843, which was $30,685,926 more than in 1872; the increase was mainly due to that in the trade with India through the Peninsular and Oriental steamers, of which Venice has become an important station. They consisted chiefly of oils, grain, colonial goods and drugs, woven goods and twist, indigo, wine and spirits, silkworm eggs, hardware, timber, hides and leather, and cattle. The exports, valued at $46,999,712, comprised chiefly cotton, butter, grain, raw silk, colonial goods and drugs, textile fabrics and twist, glass beads and enamels, and hemp.
The greater part of the trade is with England, Austria, the East Indies, and Japan; next in order of importance are the Turkish empire (including Egypt and Koumania), Holland, Sweden and Norway, and the United States. Venice is the principal market of the petroleum trade with this country, and the imports of that article in 1873 amounted to $704,262. The exports to the United States amounted in the year ending Sept. 30, 1874, to only $56,238 in gold. For the year ending Dec. 31, 1873, the arrivals comprised 439 steamers (203 Austrian, 141
English, 92 Italian, and 3 Dutch), tonnage 275,236, and 2,205 sailing vessels, tonnage 190,158; the departures were 440 steamers, tonnage 276,966, and 2,232 sailing vessels, tonnage 197,567. Venice was a free port for a considerable period prior to Jan. 1,1874. The unfavorable results anticipated from the change have been in a great measure warded off by. the general increase of prosperity owing to agricultural improvements in the interior, to the revival of old branches of industry, and to the greater transit and direct traffic with Egypt, India, China, and Japan, and other countries. - In the early part of the 5th century the Roman territory of Venetia (see Venetia) was inhabited by a peaceful, prosperous, and commercial people. Aquileia, its capital, was one of the most flourishing cities of Italy, and it contained others which almost rivalled the capital. In 452 Attila invaded the country, burned its towns, massacred many of the inhabitants, and utterly destroyed Aquileia, which was rebuilt at a later period. (See Aquileia.) The fugitives from the cities settled on the islands in the lagoons and the gulf of Venice, and, together with the few earlier settlers, supported themselves by fishing and the manufacture of salt.
Though professing allegiance to the western empire, they were practically independent, and were governed at first by three consuls elected by themselves. About 457 tribunes elected in the same manner were substituted for the consuls, a change more nominal than real, and the number of these was gradually increased to twelve. The islands, safe from outward attack, were frequently involved in quarrels with each other, until in 697 Cristoforo, patriarch of the island of Grado, proposed that in place of the twelve tribunes one common ruler should be elected for life with the title of duke (in the Venetian dialect doge), in whom all power should be vested. In March, 697, Paolo Luca Anafesto was chosen first doge. The families of the twelve deposed tribunes constituted a kind of aristocracy, and subsequently became such by law. The successive changes in the government of Venice, which ultimately degenerated into a terrible oligarchical rule, are noticed in the article Doge. The seat of government, after being repeatedly changed from one island to another, was permanently fixed in 810 on the island of Rialto, which became a celebrated centre of trade, and it was speedily connected with adjacent islands by wooden bridges.
After the fall of the western empire Venice at different times acknowledged allegiance to the Gothic kings, the eastern empire, and the emperors of Germany, but virtually she was independent. In 829, according to tradition, the bones of the apostle St. Mark were transferred from Alexandria to Venice, and he became the patron saint of the republic, which was often styled the "republic of St. Mark." The influx of pilgrims to the shrine of the saint added to the wealth of the city; her commerce increased, and from this time until the beginning of the 16th century she continued to grow in population, wealth, and refinement. Previous to the first crusade in the latter part of the 11th century she had, by conquest, by voluntary submission, or by cession from the eastern empire, acquired territory on the mainland of Italy and in Dalmatia, Croatia, and Istria, on the opposite shores of the Adriatic, and had established commercial relations with the principal nations. Throughout a great part of the eastern empire her traders were exempted from all duties and imposts, and most of the carrying trade of the world was in her hands.
In 1098 she sent a great fleet to the assistance of Godfrey of Bouillon; but it contributed more to the extension of her trade and the securing of commercial privileges in the East than to the rescue of the holy sepulchre. She joined the Lombard league against the German emperor, and in 1177 gained a great victory in defence of Pope Alexander III. over the fleet headed by Otho, son of Frederick Barbarossa. In gratitude for this victory the pope gave the doge Ziani a ring and instituted the ceremony of "marrying the Adriatic." Frederick was forced to consent to a congress at Venice, at which peace was concluded. In 1202 the soldiers of the fourth crusade assembled at Venice. Unable to pay in money for their transportation to the East, they consented to assist the Venetians in suppressing an insurrection in Dalmatia, and then under the lead of the doge Enrico Dandolo stormed Constantinople, to avenge Venice for the deprivation of some of her commercial privileges. (See Dandolo.) The fairest portion of the eastern empire, including parts of the Peloponnesus, Crete, Euboea, and other islands, now fell under the sway of Venice, and she was the most splendid city in Europe. The spoils and the trade of the East enriched the city, and especially the nobility, who erected magnificent palaces filled with the choicest works of art.
In 1289 the inquisition was established, but it was always kept in subjection to the civil power. After some minor conflicts with Genoa, a serious war broke out on the occupation of Constantinople by the Palae.ologi with Genoese aid (1261); and until near the end of the 14th century the two republics were often engaged in desperate struggles, and Venice was once brought to the verge of ruin. (See Genoa.) Among the internal convulsions during this period, the conspiracy and execution of the doge Marino Falieri in 1355 is chiefly remarkable. (See Falieri.) But Venice soon recovered from her losses, and on the death of the doge Tommaso Mocenigo in 1423 she had reached the climax of her prosperity. During the period of her struggles with Genoa, she had made herself mistress of Treviso and other territories on the Italian mainland, and after the peace of 1381 also of Vicenza, Verona, and Padua. Under Mocenigo's successor Francesco Foscari (see Foscaei) she was engaged for about 30 years in mostly successful wars with the dukes of Milan, and for the remainder of the century with the Turks, with whom a disadvantageous peace was concluded in 1503. During the 16th and 17th centuries Venice was continually at war.
Alliances were formed and dissolved at short intervals, so that from the formation of the league of Cambrai against Venice in 1508, between the pope, the emperor of Germany, and the kings of Aragon and France, till the conclusion of the peace of Carlovitz in 1699 between the Turks and the Christians, Venice was at different times engaged in war both for and against nearly every power in Europe. A portion of her Grecian possessions were taken by the Turks in a war which ended in 1540, and Candia, after a long struggle, in 1669; and in 1715 her last hold on the Morea was lost. The discovery of America and of the passage around the cape of Good Hope had in the mean while diverted enterprise and commerce into new channels, and Venice, after being for centuries the centre of the trade between Asia and Europe, gradually declined. With the exception of unimportant contests with the piratical sovereigns of Tunis and Algiers, she remained at peace during the greater part of the 18th century. During the wars which followed the breaking out of the French revolution Venice declared her neutrality; but her hostility to France continually manifested itself, and finally Bonaparte declared war against her, and she was compelled to yield.
In May, 1797, the French troops took possession of the city, which no hostile force had ever before entered. The hereditary privileges of the aristocracy were abolished; the great council was superseded by a provisional government; the destruction of the prisons and other buildings of the inquisition was decreed; the "golden book," containing the names of the hereditary nobility, was burned, and Venice lost her independence. By the peace of Campo Formio Venice with a large part of her territories was subjected to Austria. By the peace of Presburg in 1805 she was annexed to the kingdom of Italy. After the fall of Bonaparte she again passed under the dominion of Austria, forming a part of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. During the revolutionary movements of 1848 Venice in March revolted against the Austrian rule and proclaimed the restoration of the republic (see Manin); but after enduring a long siege and a terrible bombardment, she capitulated on Aug. 23, 1849, and on the 30th Radetzky entered the city, which was not released from the state of siege until May 1, 1854. By the peace of Villafranca in 1859 Venice was still left in the possession of the Austrians. After their defeat in the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 Venice and such of her former territories as were under Austrian rule were ceded to Napoleon III.; he immediately placed the government in the hands of the municipal authorities, who at once called upon the people to vote on the question of annexation to the kingdom of Italy. The election was held in October, and out of upward of 650,000 votes cast all but 69 were in favor of annexation.
Victor Emanuel made his entrance into Venice Nov. 7. The emperor Francis Joseph of Austria met Victor Emanuel, for the first time after his loss of the dominion, at Venice, April 5, 1875. - See Tentori, Saggio sulla storia di Venezia (12 vols., Venice, 1785-'90); Count Daru, Hutoire de la republique de Venue (7 vols., Paris, 1819-'21); Philippi, Geschichte des Freistaats Venedig (3 vols., Dresden, 1828); Venezia e le sue lagune (3 vols., Venice, 1847); Ruskin, "The Stones of Venice" (3 vols., London, 1851-'3); Rornanin, Storia documentata di Venezia (10 vols., Venice, 1853-'61); W. C. Hazlitt, " The History of the Venetian Republic" (4 vols., London, 1858-'60); Howells, "Venetian Life" (New York, 1866); Cicogna, I dogi di Venezia (2 vols., Venice, 1867); and Billitzer, Geschichte Venedigs (Trieste, 1871).