There are many bridges in Venice, they have been counted and there are 438 bridges all over the city, but on some occasions we can add another one: HUAWEI Venicemarathon is one of them!
As we mentioned in the previous articleby Stories by Run, the organization will set up a temporary bridge to connect Punta della Dogana to St. Mark's Square across the Grand Canal. The bridge is made up by floating piers that cover the 170 meters to cross the San Marco basin.
This temporary bridge built for HUAWEI Venicemarathon is not the only one: in fact in the past it was built every year also for the Redentore festival.
From 1575 to 1577, the plague struck down the Serenissima and it caused about 50,000 victims, one-third of the population. The Senate of the Serenissima decreed, on 4 September 1576, that the Doge should have built a church dedicated to the Redentore to obtain mercy for the plague and promised to honor the basilica every year on the day in which the epidemic would have been defeated.
On 13 July 1577 the plague ended and it was decided to celebrate the liberation from it every third Sunday of July with a religious and popular celebration. From the first huge and spectacular votive bridge, set up through 80 Venetian ships, it changed over the years and it was decided to use cheaper and more practical rafts.
From the 1950s the votive bridge was assembled by the Italian military genius using an English Bailey bridge abandoned by the allies at the end of the Second World War. In 2002 it was replaced by a more modern floating bridge.
From the beginning of the sixteenth century, a second floating bridge was set up for Redentore’s Day to cross the Grand Canal near the boat stop of Santa Maria del Giglio: today this votive bridge is built only on the occasion of the Festa della Madonna della Salute – 21 November - to allow to the faithful to reach the basilica. Also this celebration was instituted by the Serenissima to pray and thank the Virgin Mother of God to protect Venice from the terrible plague of the seventeenth century.
Just a curiosity: the bridge built in each of the three occasions is nowadays the same one, therefore it means that the parts used to built them are the same for Redentore, Festa della Salute and HUAWEI Venicemarathon.