Arsenale Page 11

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* Arsenale (from the old Venetian word arzana  or workshop) is an immense dockyard, founded in 1100 and built up considerably during the 16th century.  This was a state-of-the-art shipyard, legendary for its size and efficiency.

*  Galleys 200 feet long were built here, capable of carrying 300 tons of ginger, pepper, silk, and silver. With 16,000 "Arsenalotti" on the payroll, a perfectly armed warship could be built in just 12 hours; 100 ships were built in 60 days in 1597 for the battle against the Turks at Cyprus.

Arsenale sign

* The impressive Renaissance gateway (1460) is guarded by four lions, war booty from the 17th century. The 10-foot-tall lion to the left has had a 2,000-year career standing sentinel, beginning in a harbor near Athens. If you look at the winged lion above the doorway, you'll notice that the Gospel at his paws is open but lacks the customary Pax inscription; praying for peace perhaps seemed inappropriate above a factory that manufactured weapons.

* Several WW I battleships were built here, although this marked the end of its shipbuilding career.

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Approaching the Arsenale Bridge & towers
Approaching the Arsenale
Bridge & towers Arsenale
Entrance to the Arsenale
Arsenale Neighborhood
The classic Venetian lion The old walls
Neighborhood Neighborhood
Neighborhood surrounding Arsenale
Tower Main Canal walk
Entrance tower Returning to the main canal walk
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