In-Depth Views: The Rialto Bridge In Venice, Italy (4K)

The Rialto bridge is one of the four bridges, together with the Accademia bridge, the Scalzi bridge and the Constitution bridge, that cross the Grand Canal, in the city of Venice. Of the four, the Rialto bridge is the oldest. According to the chronicles, the first passage on the Grand Canal consisted of a bridge of boats.

The growing importance of the Rialto market, on the eastern bank of the canal, increased the traffic on the floating bridge. Around 1250, it was replaced by a wooden bridge. In the first half of the 15th century, two rows of shops were built along the sides of the bridge; the proceeds from the rents, collected by the State Treasury, contributed to the maintenance of the bridge.

In 1310 the bridge was damaged during the retreat of the rioters led by Bajamonte Tiepolo. In 1444, however, it collapsed under the weight of the large crowd gathered to witness the passage of the procession of the bride of the Marquis of Ferrara. In 1503 the construction of a stone bridge was proposed for the first time.

In the following decades, several projects were evaluated. The work was completed in 1591, with the help of the architects Antonio and Tommaso Contin, who were his nephews, as sons of his son-in-law Bernardino Contin.

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