Venetian galley for combat.

Island of Curzola (Korcula).
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immagine didascalia

Venetian galley for combat.


immagine didascalia

Island of Curzola (Korcula).


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The Dalmatian and Balkan Coastline

On the 9th of May, 1000, a Venetian fleet led by the Doge Pietro II Orseolo, set sail for the Dalmatian coastline to defeat the pirates.
After two months of fighting, the Venetians extended their maritime rule all along the Istrian/Dalmatian coast.

Venice thus began its conquest and control of the trading routes in the Adriatic and the Mediterranean.
This marked the start of Venetian political, cultural and commercial influence along the eastern coastline of the Adriatic, even though the Republic’s power was only really consolidated in the late 1300s and early 1400s.

Control over the Dalmatian cities of Zadar, Split, Trogir and Ragusa and the surrounding lands changed hands several times during the 12th Century, between Venice, Hungary and the Byzantines.
After the Fourth Crusade in 1202, Trieste and Zara fell under Venetian domain, while Ragusa, an important city-port, was conquered in 1205 and then mainly held by the Venetians until 1382, with a few ups and downs.

By the 1300s, Venice had become the centre of a vast maritime empire, dominating most of the eastern coast of the Adriatic sea, including several major cities, such as  Trieste, Pola and Zadar, and many other less important settlements.

In 1420, when most of Dalmatia was under Venetian rule, Dalmatians enlisted by the Serenissima were called “Schiavoni” or “Oltremarini” began to serve their acquired Venetian fatherland.
The entire Dalmatian coast and the Balkans, with their islands and ports, served the Venetian ships travelling to and from the East, acting as safe harbours, offering supplies and rest for the crew. The island of Korcula, the port of Antivari in Montenegro (under Venetian rule from 1443 to 1571) the Albanese ports of Vlora (in 1690) and Durrës (since 1205) were just some of the eastern Adriatic harbours that Venice could count on at various times.

Dalmatia had many a fine craftsman and a flourishing economy, while the poorer Balkan states, such as Montenegro and Albania, produced hides that were mainly exported and used as lining in Venice, where there was a strong tanning and leather industry.


400 - 1000  -   - rev. 0.1.8

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Venice and its lagoons

World Heritage, a dialogue between cultures: which future?

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