Friday, June 24, 2016

Italy Blog #11 Venice: St. Mark's Square: Campanile Tower

Rob and Tom in St. Mark's Square
In this blog (the 11th) of our trip to Italy, we're taking you to the famous St. Mark's Square, home of many famous structures - but we'll focus on a Tower.  St. Mark's Square was often under water.  In Blog #6, you read about all of the recorded flooding events (click to read if you missed it) - . In fact, some times people actually boated across the square.

WHAT IS IN ST. MARK'S SQUARE/PIAZZA SAN MARCO? - This is the main public square of Venice, Italy, where it is generally known just as "the Piazza". All other urban spaces in the city are called "campi." In this square, you'll find the famous buildings of  
1) The Campanile (Tower) 
2)  Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica); 
3) Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) 
4) Torre dell'Orologio (Clock Tower); 
5) Piazzetta (marked by two large columns where people come in by boat); 
6) The Old Library (Libreria Sansovinian) where we found Cafe Florian (from 1720)

St. Mark's Square: Campanile Tower (right)


Today we'll explore the history of the tower called "Campanile." It's a tall brick bell tower for the basilica (of St. Mark's which we'll talk about in the next blog).  The Tower is in the corner of the "arcaded Procuratie Nuove."

BUILT- Construction on the tower started in the 10th century and it was finished in the 12th century. That's a long time to construct a tower! The pointed roof and golden top were not added until the 15th century.

COLLAPSED AND REBUILT -  On July 14, 1902, the Campanile collapsed into the piazza into a pile of rubble, but didn't kill anyone according to historical records. Ten Years Later- By 1912, it had rebuilt to its original 98.6-meter height, as was the Loggetta, a small marble loggia built by Sansovino between 1537 and 1540 for the members of the Great Council to assemble before going into the sessions. After the campanile rubble was cleared, it was possible to rebuild the Loggetta using the original stones and sculptures, including Sansovino's four bronze masterpieces that stand between the twin columns.

USES- PRISON AND BEACON - The campanile is so tall that it was used by approaching ships as a beacon to guide them home. However, it also had a darker purpose. In the Middle Ages,it was used as a a place where wrongdoers were confined in a cage that was lifted half-way up the tower. The punishment could last for several weeks.
NEXT: Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark's Basilica)

Credit for information:

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next