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The Rialto Bridge is the very first and oldest bridge across the Grand Canal. Nowadays, the Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous in the city.
Initially, the bridge was made of wood, but was soon completely destroyed during the rebellion that occurred as a result of B. Tiepolo's conspiracy. After a while, the bridge was rebuilt, wood again served as the material, while a mechanism was built into the structure, allowing to raise the bridge.
In the 16th century, after both parts of the bridge collapsed, Pasquale Cicogna decided to build the most durable a stone building with arcades, which could accommodate shops for trade. An architectural competition was held for the best design of the bridge, with such famous architects as Palladio, Sansovino and Michelangelo, but Antonio de Ponte won the competition.
The bridge was built in 1588-1591, and has survived to this day in its original form. Until 1854, the Rialto Bridge remained the only bridge across the Grand Canal.
The bridge structure consists of one arch, which reaches 28 meters in length. The bridge was being built at the narrowest point of the Grand Canal. The structure is supported by 12 000 piles driven into the bottom of the lagoon. Under the arch there are 24 shops, divided in the central part of the bridge by two arches.
The Rialto Bridge, along with other sights of Venice, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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Topic: Rialto Bridge in Italy, Venice resort.