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English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, I'm Debbie, your personal guide. Together with MyWoWo, I'd like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world.

Today I'll accompany you through the Marciana Library, which is one of the most spectacular buildings from Venice's Renaissance age!

St. Mark's Piazzetta, where you now stand, features two magnificent palaces facing each other. They are completely different in style and function, but they both have harmonious and delicate loggias: they are the Doge's Palace and the Marciana Library. The Marciana Library dates back to the first half of the 1500s and was built by one of the best architects of the time, the Florentine Jacopo Sansovino, who also designed the Golden Staircase here at the Doge's Palace.

Sansovino was practically adopted by Venice: he had been named Protomastro, which meant he was responsible for public buildings in the city, a position that allowed him to create splendid official architecture over a 40-year period.

Sansovino takes up the pattern of overlapping loggias in the Marciana Library, giving it a touch of noble and truly classic elegance. The rows of arcades end in a balustrade open to the sky, with four obelisks at the corners and "guard of honor" statues on the roof.

The library's history instead dates back to the poet Francesco Petrarca, who had unsuccessfully proposed to found one in Venice as early as the 1300s. It was instead a cardinal in the second half of the 1400s who donated the thousand volumes that became the library's first core. In addition to the historical Marciana Library, books have been kept in the adjacent Zecca Palace for some time now as well.

You should know that this is one of the most important libraries in the world, especially in relation to its around 13,000 Codex manuscripts and the printed books from before the year 1500, which are the so-called "incunabula". It also contains about a thousand "aldini" volumes, the world's first affordable books which were published by the Venetian Aldo Manuzio and can be distinguished by the famous stamped dolphin symbol.


FUN FACT:    if you want to look at some manuscripts or read some of the ancient library books, about 30,000 works have been digitized and are available to scholars from all over the world.

Scarica MyWoWo! La Travel App che ti racconta le meraviglie del mondo!

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