Venice: History

Queen of the Adriatic

Venice History

The history of Venice is quite vast, founded in 421 C.E. on April 25th or what is known as St. Mark’s day, which of course is the icon of the city of Venice. Refugees from northern Italy found a safe haven in the marshland of grouped islands. The area’s strategic position in relation to trade allowed for the society of refugees to amply develop the land into a thriving city. In the early 8th century, the first Doge took his place as the official leader of Venice. In much of the ninth and tenth centuries, Venice focused on building and trade. The earliest versions of the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square were replaced by later renovations, originated during this time period.

Venice established its footing in foreign trade. Its many waterways allowed for ships from both the eastern and western world to easily pass through. Later centuries introduced a more forceful Venice, in that citizens and leaders of the city were constantly seeking to increase their power through expansion. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Venice took its place as one of the greatest sea power in all of Europe. By the fifteenth century, the city had formed an equally impressive land-based army that was always prepared for offensive and defensive attack.

Venice carried itself proudly as a commercial power until the 18th century, when it lost several key territories to Turkish army. The Republic of Venice experienced a major defeat, when Napoleon conquered the city in the late 18th century. By 1866, Venice joined the kingdom of Italy, and today remains an integral part of the country.