Relics from a Naval Wedding
First I showed you the view from the Ponte dei Sospiri, and now I show you what one sees from the outside. Did you know there are similar Bridges of Sighs in other places, such as England, Peru, and Hungary? I was certainly sighing (or at least huffing and puffing), as we ran from the Basilica di San Marco to our next destination in order to make it before closing time. For once, Venice was kind enough to provide us with a straight line in order to reach it.
Museo Storico Navale
The Naval History Museum in Venice was originally established in 1919, by the Italian Royal Navy. Its collections include items relating to the naval and maritime history of the city, as well as ship models and weapons.
It is located close to the Arsenale di Venezia, a complex of former shipyards and armories, and which was once the bulk of the Venetian Republic’s naval power.
The collection of the Naval Museum recalls the Casa dei Modelli, which was a building that stored models of all the ships built by the Republic. Some of these models are also held in the museum, after having survived the ransacking of the Arsenale in 1797. The museum also holds models from cultures beyond its own Venetian, including ships from China and elsewhere.
The Bucintoro (in English, Bucentaur) was the Doge’s ceremony ship. It was used every year on Ascension Day to take the doge out to the Adriatic Sea to perform a ceremony called the “Marriage to the Sea,” which wedded Venice to the sea. The ship was destroyed in 1798 at Napoleon’s orders, as a symbol of his complete conquest of Venice.