Venetian Arsenal, Venice

4.4
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Military Facility
The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards and armories clustered together in the city of Venice in northern Italy. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the Venetian republic's naval power during the middle part of the second millennium AD. It was "one of the earliest large-scale industrial enterprises in history".
Construction of the Arsenal began around 1104, during Venice's republican era. It became the largest industrial complex in Europe before the Industrial Revolution, spanning an area of about, or about fifteen percent of Venice. Surrounded by a 2mi rampart, laborers and shipbuilders regularly worked within the Arsenal, building ships that sailed from the city's port. With high walls shielding the Arsenal from public view and guards protecting its perimeter, different areas of the Arsenal each produced a particular prefabricated ship part or other maritime implement, such as munitions, rope, and rigging. These parts could then be assembled into a ship in as little as one day. An exclusive forest owned by the Arsenal navy, in the Montello hills area of Veneto, provided the Arsenal's wood supply.
The Arsenal produced the majority of Venice's maritime trading vessels, which generated much of the city's economic wealth and power, lasting until the fall of the republic to Napoleon's conquest of the area in 1797. It is located in the Castello district of Venice, and it is now owned by the state.
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Venetian Arsenal reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
965 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We began our walk to the Arsenale on the Fondamente Nuove which is on the northern edge of central Venice, in Cannaregio, continuing into Castello and then bearing south until we found ourselves...  more »
  • A complex of former shipyards where only military personnel has entrance rights. However, if you want to avoid the crowds in San Marco, this is a quiet, lovely area that you can visit anytime. And...  more »
Google
  • The gate is interesting. Look up the history on the lions located at the gate, fascinating. Can be hot walk down from St Mark's Square, but comfortable in the morning. Good lunch spot located at the gate after you cross the bridge. History bluffs will enjoy.
  • This was one of the biggest things I was looking to see in Venice. Has had such a monumental role in Venice's history. I feel that it left out a lot of potential in it's visitation and there wasn't much to see. I would have been disappointed if I didn't know that going into seeing it. I wish they would do more with it and let people inside.

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