El paron de casa. The landlord.
That’s the affectionate nickname that Venetians use when referring to the belltower that dominates Saint Mark’s Square and the Venetian cityscape.
The belltower had actually different functions during the history of the Serenissima:
- lighthouse – visible from the sea at distance of 42km/26,09 miles
- belltower – regulating the Venetian day-to-day routine (the Trottiera called the nobles to the reunion of the Major Council)
- Defense function in times of war
- Location for experiments – in 1609 Galileo Galilei presented the Doge his new invention on the Campanile, the telescope
The construction works began in 888 and were only finished under the reign of the Doge Domenico Morosini (1148 – 56).
1542 the famous architect Sansovino built the beautiful Loggia that you can still admire today.
As the belltower towered over the other Venetian buildings it soon “transformed” unintentionally into a huge lightning conductor. Only in 1776 the first lightning conductor was set up on the top of the belltower, but the building fabric was already severely damaged.
In 1902 one of the most important Venetian landmarks collapsed on a – fortunately – tranquil morning in one of the busiest squares in the world; it was only reopened 10 years later.
Height: 100,06 meters/328,28 feet
(please check the official page too)
October – November 09.00 am – 07.00 pm
November – April 09.30 am – 03.45 pm
April – June 09.00 am – 07.00 pm
July – September 09.00 am – 09.00 pm
Entrance fee € 8
Reduced: € 4 (groups > 20 persons)