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Venice, Italy: Its Origin and Possible Forthcoming Demise

Updated on May 18, 2018
Gerry Glenn Jones profile image

Gerry Glenn Jones served 28 years in law enforcement in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Missouri before beginning a writing and acting career.

Venice harbor, Venice, Italy - Between 1890 and 1900
Venice harbor, Venice, Italy - Between 1890 and 1900 | Source

Plan Your Visit to Venice Soon

If you've always wanted to visit Venice, Italy, plan on going soon. It might not be there, above water, that is, in forthcoming years as reported by some scientists. Their explanation for this is the rising sea levels, caused by global-warming. Did something similar happen to the Lost City of Atlantis? Before we address this question further, you need to understand why the city was built in the sea in the first place.

Palazzo Contarini Pisani (Venice)
Palazzo Contarini Pisani (Venice) | Source

Why Venice was Built on Islands in the Venetian Lagoon

In the 5th century A.D., people escaping the brutality and death inflicted by Attila the Hun and his barbarian army, fled to the location of present day Venice, and took refuge on marshy Islands off the mainland. As the scourge of the invaders became more threatening, the people began sinking wooden pilings into the sea, and began buildings on these pilings, with most not being on the Islands themselves, but built directly from the sea. This must have been a daunting task, due to lack of modern equipment.

The City of Venice proved to be a protectorate for its inhabitants. Due to the lack of ships and lack of knowledge of the sea, the invaders could not reach them in force to conquer them, thus the isolation protected it from the future revolts that would come, until the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte's Army. After refusing to surrender to him initially, the city officials capitulated on May 31, 1797. This was the end of the Venetian Republic.

Gondola parking at Riva degli Schiavoni
Gondola parking at Riva degli Schiavoni | Source

The Demise of Venice

Since that time, there have been changes in government, but Venice is now controlled by Italy. A unique situation occurred in the city during World War II. Even though Italy was an Axis member of the war, Venice was left, virtually unscathed by battle. There are still many questions as to why this happened.

It appears that Venice may not fall to another conquering army, but may be defeated by "Mother Nature," in her wrath, due to human-inflicted global warming. According to scientific reports, Venice is not only facing rising water because arctic ice is melting, but the city is also sinking and tilting.

Venice's subsidence was recognized as a major issue decades ago when scientists realized that pumping groundwater from beneath the city, combined with the ground's compaction from centuries of building, was causing the city to settle. Officials put a stop to the groundwater pumping, and subsequent studies in the 2000s indicated that the subsidence had stopped. If you would like to learn more on this topic, read a report by LiveScience by clicking on the following link: Venice Is Slowly Sinking | Venice Sea Level Rise & Flooding.

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 months ago

      Thank you.

    • Gerry Glenn Jones profile imageAUTHOR

      Gerry Glenn Jones 

      2 months ago from Somerville, Tennessee

      Yes, I have seen some predictions when that might occur. I think it will have to do with atmospheric changes, melting ice at the poles and changes in the condition of the land mass which is underwater, beneath the city itself. Some scientists believe it might be under water within a century.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 months ago

      An interesting article on Vienna's beginning and possible ending. Have you read any dates as to when Vienna is supposed to be a modern day Atlantis?

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