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Venice by Night

Venice
Canal Grande
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The history of Venice

The first inhabitants of the city of Venice can not be considered fugitives as their ancestors, but they had already developed various activities on the sea. Many of them were still living in the fishing and salt trading, others were calafatari and carpenters, but the most wealthy already pushed their trade outside the lagoon.

Islands in the lagoon near Malamocco, the transfer of the ducal seat had to involve an intensification of settlements. In 775-776 there was created the bishopric of Olivolo. During the reign of Angelo Participazio (809-827) the ducal seat was then moved from Malamocco the best defense "Rivoalto" (present-Rialto). They were built the monastery of San Zaccaria, a first ducal palace and the first basilica of San Marco.

In 828 the Venetians moved the body of St Mark in the chapel of the Ducal Palace, already risen to the Rialto. According to legend, two merchants, Tribune and Rustico, a captain in Alexandria when the Caliph was looting the Christian church where he had kept the body of St. Mark (who was martyred in 68). Fearing that the sacred body was desecrated, the two robbed from the merchants, carrying it on their ship in a wooden box covered with quarter-pig. The Venetians then gave him honorable burial in the basilica of San Marco and the first elected him their patron. This event increased the prestige of Venice, not only as a ducal capital, but as a religious site and later involved the transfer of the patriarchal see.

897 Doge Pietro tribune erected a defense (civitatis murus) between Olivolo and Rialto. The building materials for these buildings, according to the custom of the time, were taken from the ruins of the ancient Roman cities closer to the coast, particularly from Altino.

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