History of Venice
Venice was built, accordingto tradition, in AD 452 when Teutonic tribes invading Italyforced the inhabitants of northern Italian cities to take refuge on the islands in the lagoon. In AD 697 a republic was established under elected leaders known as the Doges, and Venice soon developed into a prosperous commercial hub.
When the Venetians conquered Constantinople and Cyprus,
Venice was elevated to one of the most powerful commercial trade centers
in Europe, having control over the major trade routes through the Mediterranean.
Marco Polo symbolized its spirit of enterprise in the 13th century.
became known as the "Queen of the Adriatic" as its territory
reached into the mainland to include cities such as Vicenza, Verona
and Padova and the Friuli region. The city-state of Venice
reached the height of its power and splendor during the Renaissance,
and then began to decline towards the century's end. Venice's power began
to decline after the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in the 15th
century, and later Crete and Cyprus in the 16th century. It
was next given over to Austrian rule in 1797, and soon afterwards Napoleon
I invaded, ruling from 1805 through 1814. Venice did not come back under
the Italian kingdom until 1866.