Grand Canal, Trieste, Italy

Canale Grande e Chiesa St. Atonio
[Canal Grande and Church of Sant’Antonio Nuovo]
Publisher: Ludovico Smolars & Nipoti

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The Canal grande is a navigable canal located in the heart of the Borgo Teresiano, in the very center of the city of Trieste, approximately halfway between the railway station and Piazza Unità d’Italia. It was built between 1754 and 1756 by the Venetian Matteo Pirona, further digging the main collector of the salt pans, when these were buried to allow the urban development of the city outside its walls. It was built so that boats could come directly to the city center to unload their goods. In its initial conformation, the canal was longer than it is today, reaching as far as the church of Sant’Antonio. The terminal part of the canal was buried in 1934, with rubble resulting from the demolition of the old city, thus obtaining the current Piazza Sant’Antonio.

Present-day Borgo Teresiano (from Corso Italia to Piazza della Libertà) was once an area of salt marshes, now completely reclaimed. The channels perpendicular to the seafront were surveyed extensively and plans were made to excavate them in order to expand the navigable area of the city and allow easy loading / unloading of goods at canal-side warehouses, but the project was later abandoned and the Canal Grande remained the city’s only canal. . . . The canal was one of the nerve centres of Trieste’s commercial hub. Its banks are still lined with the squares, churches and historic cafés built by the merchants who made the city great
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