Travel to Great Mirror: Photo 2
Atop the Torcello tower, Ruskin looked to the south and saw "a multitude of towers, dark, and scattered among square-set shapes of clustered palaces, a long and irregular line fretting the southern sky. Mother and daughter, you behold them both in their widowhood,--TORCELLO, and VENICE."
At the height of its power, when Venice was Europe's entrepot for spices, silk, and jewels from the East, the city's economy rested on technological as well as political foundations. If the Doge's palace is the obvious symbol of Venice as a political entity, the Arsenal is the symbol of the technology that sustained the republic. Here: a stretch of the arsenal's wall, which encloses 80 acres--mostly a pond that was surrounded by docks and sheds.
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