Rialto Bridge

Venice, Italy

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri.

The development and importance of the Rialto market on the eastern bank increased traffic on the floating bridge, so it was replaced in 1255 by a wooden bridge. This structure had two inclined ramps meeting at a movable central section, that could be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. The connection with the market eventually led to a change of name for the bridge. During the first half of the 15th century, two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge. The rents brought an income to the State Treasury, which helped maintain the bridge.

Maintenance was vital for the timber bridge. It was partly burnt in the revolt led by Bajamonte Tiepolo in 1310. In 1444, it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed again in 1524.

The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503. Several projects were considered over the following decades. In 1551, the authorities requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, among other things. Plans were offered by famous architects, such as Jacopo Sansovino, Palladio and Vignola, but all involved a Classical approach with several arches, which was judged inappropriate to the situation. Michelangelo also was considered as designer of the bridge.

The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico, the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

Today, the Bridge is one of the top tourism attractions in Venice.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1588-1591
Category:

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Samuel Leung (5 months ago)
Iconic bridge with shops across the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice, also the only foot crossing between the districts of San Macro and San Polo. On the bridge plenty perfect spots to watch the boats and gondolas racing each other up and down the waterway, under the bridge you will find nice restaurants and well-stocked stalls to cater for your gastronomic and shopping needs. You can't really claim that you have been to Venice unless you have crossed the bridge a couple times.
Meibelle Michael (10 months ago)
Beautifully marble bridge in person! Go early in the morning to enjoy it to yourself and you must do the gondola ride from here just so you go under the bridge and experience the Venice ambience. The photos don’t do it justice. Enjoy it!
Pin Egoistic (11 months ago)
Kinda crowdy even in times when there is nobody around in the streets.
Ben Lu (12 months ago)
It’s covered in shops selling souvenirs you don’t want. There are some pleasant photos to take from one side and the other which is less known has one building covered in scaffolding. Functionally, it’s a very useful bridge although quite busy.
Ishan (13 months ago)
Amazing and extremely beautiful bridge surrounded by all retails shops. The view is magnificent. You will have the best memorable clicks over here. One of the best highlights of Venice. Must visit place.Visited this place few years back and hopefully will get back for the gondola ride once again in near future.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, around Matthias Church. It was designed and built between 1895 and 1902 on the plans of Frigyes Schulek. Construction of the bastion destabilised the foundations of the neighbouring 13th century Dominican Church which had to be pulled down. Between 1947–48, the son of Frigyes Schulek, János Schulek, conducted the other restoration project after its near destruction during World War II.

From the towers and the terrace a panoramic view exists of Danube, Margaret Island, Pest to the east and the Gellért Hill.

Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896.

The Bastion takes its name from the guild of fishermen that was responsible for defending this stretch of the city walls in the Middle Ages. It is a viewing terrace, with many stairs and walking paths.

A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Matthias Church. The pedestal was made by Alajos Stróbl, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek, in Neo-Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the King's life.