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Grand Canal, Venice

Pic of the Week: 30 September 2014

View of Venice's Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge

by Assawin Chomjit © 2014

A view from Venice’s Rialto Bridge, the oldest of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal (Canalasso in the local dialect) forms a 3.8-kilometre (2.4-mile) inverted S, varying in width from 30 to 90 metres (33–100 yards) through the centre of the city.

The original bridge was a pontoon bridge assembled in 1181 and called the Ponte della Moneta (there was a mint near its eastern end). A wooden bridge was built in 1255 to serve the Rialto market that had sprung up on the eastern bank; after being partly burnt in a revolt in 1310, and collapsing twice (in 1444 and 1524). The present stone bridge was completed in 1591.

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