Fortified Lagoon

History of ideas of fortification in the Lagoon of Venice.

Venice, the city on water famous throughout the world, is actually the most important town of a complex system of relations between nature and artifice. This centre represents and describes only part of this system. His representations, crossing all our communications systems, away a chance to earn this system as a necessary condition for its existence in time. We can synthesize the complexity of this system that defies the origin and future of this city with the term Venetian Lagoon.

This Lagoon is the line that holds together all the different images of the cultures and societies that have lived in Venice since the sixth century. Of this time is the fist image, narrated by Roman official, Cassiodorus, describing the inhabitants of this place as a simple "water birds, sometimes over the sea and sometimes on the ground". This image might find it in a relief of the Lion of Venice of the sixteenth century, symbol of the Republic, as a clerk in the freight transport of tomorrow. The same continuity we could meet also looking at the following image that gives us this fist unexpected visitor: the fist Venetians lived all alike and all ate the same food offered by the Lagoon. Managing social relations through the water has brought the Venetians(which should better define as lagoon's inhabitants) to perceive a need the empty space, a distance between things: the principle and practice of freedom in the service of cooperation required by the insular condition. Through the water acquired all the assets that the Lagoon could not provide trading with others who gave in abundance: so came the fresh water and, later, the timber needed for construction of buildings characterized by a monumental stone from, in turn, from Istria.

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Author: Marco Ballarin

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Keywords: Fortifications,Venice,Lagoon,Military Architecture,History,Italy


Marco Ballarin







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