Monday, 24 January 2022

The Rialto Bridge at Night.

The Rialto Bridge is the oldest crossing of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. One of 4 crossing points the bridge connects the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The current bridge made of stone began construction in 1588 and was completed in 1591, it is the last of several to have occupied this area of Venice and was built by Antonio da Ponte following a competition to design a new bridge.

The bridge is a major tourist attraction reachers a length of 31.8 metres (104.3ft), a height of 7.32 metres (24ft) and a width of 22.9 metres (75.1ft). There are 2 arcades of shops across the bridge separated by a central pathway of steps with another 2 paths to the rear of each row of shops. To support the bridge arch over 6000 timber piles were driven in to the soft embankments under each abutment.

The first bridge to cross the Grand Canal here was was the Ponte della Moneta, built as a pontoon bridge with ships fastened together and designed by Nicola Barattieri in 1181. This bridge was replaced in 1255 by a wooden construction because the nearby Realto market had grown considerably, this bridge had a movable platform in the middle to allow ships to pass.  This bridge was the first to include shops who's taxes and rents helped with paying for the maintenance, it was during this time the bridge name was changed to Realto after the nearby market. 

In 1310 the bridge was badly damaged by fire during the attempt to overthrow the Doge by Bajamonte Tiepolo and in 1444 it collapsed during the wedding celebration of the Marquis Ferrara. This led to the bridge being rebuilt as a drawbridge but once again in 1524 the bridge collapsed. In 1551 the authorities invited the most famous architects of the era to offer their ideas for a bridge, and in 1588 work started on the current bridge which was approved due to the design being of a single span arch. Many people doubted the bridge would last but so far it has stood for over 400 years and counting.

These pictures were taken on the 1st November 2018 using a Nikon d330 SLR camera, they can also be seen full size, resolution and un-watermarked on Clickasnap. All were taken in and around the bridge.

Thanks for looking and please take a moment to share and follow me on social media. All the pictures remain the copyright of Colin Green.