This is the street door of a bank on the Zattere, Dorsoduro.
The doors of my bank look nothing like this.
I know that many people have strong feelings about the monster cruise ships coming into Venice via the Giudecca Canal.
This much smaller pleasure cruiser was docked at the Maritime Station, and looks like a possibly more acceptable manner of sailing. The Wind Surf takes about 300 passengers, so is about 1/10th the size of the big guys. Today, the passengers were heading to Croatia.
She’s beautiful, I think. But, I’m prepared to hear your critical remarks.
[Oh, I have limited access to my photos, so I can post a little bit on my last couple of days, after all. Life is good!]
Walking around in Venice, you’ll often notice arches constructed between buildings on either side of a calle.
They may simply be a structure that lends support to adjacent buildings, or may signify the union of families in those buildings, via marriage.
This one is in a class by itself. The arch was obviously in need of its own support system. I hope it holds up!
Visible across the waters of the Giudecca Canal, from many points along the Zattere ( the walkway along the canal, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro), is the Molino Stucky, now a 5 star Hilton hotel, and apartment complex.
The mill was built in 1895, by Giovanni Stucky, whose family came originally from Switzerland. 1500 workers were employed here, with 24 hour rosters. It ceased operations in 1955 , and lay dormant and decaying until the mid-2000s, when renovations began to create the present hotel and apartments.
Now the Molino Stucky is set to be sold at auction this spring, for a price expected to be around 300 million euro. It’s going to be interesting to see who might purchase this Venetian landmark.
This round-about introduction was to set the scene to show you what is featured on the facade of this neo-Gothic building.
She’s a sturdy lass, carrying some of the cereal grains that symbolise the industry that was housed in this edifice.
A blog that I follow consistently, and often use as a reference for ‘treasure hunts’ in Venice, is that of Bluoscar: http://bluoscar.blogspot.com/ (Another, written by Fausto, a born and bred Venetian, deeply in love with his city, is http://alloggibarbaria.blogspot.com/ ) I can heartily recommend these to you, as well as many others listed on my Blogroll.
Some time ago, I wrote a post about some door knockers I had seen in Dorsoduro. They were quite different from other, more artistic examples you will see in Venice. These are the specimens I showed you:
A couple of days ago, I wrote to BluOscar, with a request to his friend Claudio, who displays deep knowledge of the door hardware to be seen in Venice. I hoped that Claudio could tell me something about these specimens. Well, of course he could, and the answer came back promptly.
Here (as translated by Google), is what he said:
Dear Yvonne, thank you for your kind praise and inform you that the clappers from you photographed belong to a minority of its kind on the doors of Venice: in fact they are both made of wrought iron, while most of the others in the Serenissima are fused copper alloy (bronze or brass), for obvious reasons of greater resistance of these materials to weathering (by) rich sea salt.
However, having visited the city several times, I must say that it seems to me that it was in Dorsoduro, for some reason, is concentrated the greatest amount of these iron structures (not sure if our expert friend Oscar has had the same feeling).
The first clapper heart-shaped part of the type called “ring-modified”, is made flat section with geometric practiced chisel; has an articulation of the type “snare” and, inferiorly, a knob for gripping by the hand , also decorated, typical of northern Italy but in particular the city of Venice. Typically these types of clappers were present in pairs, one for each door leaf, and also served as handles. The specimen photographed was probably the early sixteenth century.
The other clapper is of the type “hammer” which is why more properly defined with the name of “knocker”; has a massive body of quadrangular section and a handle of a now indefinable zoomorphic shape firmly secured to the body itself. This type was generally present in a single copy of one leaf of the door, while the other was placed a fixed handle. It too is anchored with an articulation of the same type as the previous clapper. For the great mass certainly possessed had to produce a large percussion. (I attribute) this example the Gothic style, immediately preceding the clapper to heart.
Keep in mind that these pieces have four or five centuries of life and therefore the doors that host them today certainly can not be the original, (are) long deteriorated, which is why the clappers, now exposed only for decorative reasons, may appear arranged in a manner improper.
So, thank you for the information so graciously shared by these two gentlemen (and all the many others who have helped me in the past). May 2013 be a year of wonders for them, and for all of my faithful readers.
Felice Anno Nuovo a tutti/e.
If you are in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, chances are you may come across the Carmini Church. If you stand in the Campo Carmini, facing the entry to the church, you will notice an entry to your right. If you are lucky, you may gain entry to what was the Carmini Cloisters, now the Istituto Statale d’Arte di Venezia. (State Institute of Art, Venice).
What a wonderful place to study art!
Here is what will greet you as you go through the doorway.
Then you walk into the cloister.
What an inspired way to use a cloister (and associated buildings) no longer needed for the original purpose.