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The Amazing Stories Behind Pictures: Places, Events, Poetry, Works of Art Some pictures have far more to see than what is immediately obvious. It's also a window and a library of whatever went before. Tell us this and so we'll be taken beyond the picture deep into the nature and feelings that will buttress the pictures and pull us to come back.

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 07:50 AM
Martin Evans Martin Evans is offline
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In Chaniá, Crete. Just one of many stone doorcases from the period of Venetian occupation.




Photographed on a digital compact: Canon A620, ISO 100, 1/320 sec at f/4.0. Cropped from a wide-angle (7.3mm) shot. No editing 'enhancement' with photoshop etc: the image is just 'as is'.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 10:44 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Evans View Post
In Chaniá, Crete. Just one of many stone doorcases from the period of Venetian occupation.




Photographed on a digital compact: Canon A620, ISO 100, 1/320 sec at f/4.0. Cropped from a wide-angle (7.3mm) shot. No editing 'enhancement' with photoshop etc: the image is just 'as is'.

Martin,

Interesting that you can recognize the provenance of doorways! how come you know this? We forget that Venice was a major Mediterranean sea power. Malta is a very special place. I remember there's a custom of putting a window box of fresh flowers when a young girl is ready to receive offers of betrothal.

Asher
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:48 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Martin,

Now with enough room, your interesting picture in the Theme: "Doors" can have the interesting stories associated with the picture!

Asher
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Old August 27th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Martin Evans Martin Evans is offline
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My wife and I know Crete reasonably well. We have been holidaying on the "Great Island" off and on since the late 1970s. Crete was part of the Venetian empire from 1204, when the Byzantine empire sold or ceded the island to Venice, until 1669 when the Ottoman empire finally drove out the Venetians. The lovely town of Chaniá at the western end of the island was captured by the Turks earlier, in 1645. There is still a huge quantity of Venetian period architecture on Crete, and especially in Chaniá (aka Canea, Hania). The situation in this town is rather peculiar: it was badly damaged by the bombing of the port and the subsequent fighting in the Battle of Crete (May 1941) and during the early post-war years there was no money to restore the damage. Soon it was realized that the architectural heritage of Chaniá was very special, and no-one has been allowed to do any restoration at all, except under strict (and slow bureaucratic) control. Therefore the town is full of Venetian ruins. Many are used, roofless, as restaurants. Others are still shored up with timbers, waiting for the slow arrival of money and permissions. We stay at a hotel just around the corner from this doorway: The Hotel Palazzo, which is a delightful small hotel in a well-restored Venetian-period house. One cannot visit Crete, and Chaniá especially, without being aware of her troubled past, occupied by Rome, Byzantium, Venice, the Ottoman Turks; then freedom to join with Greece; but then Nazi occupation. Each phase fiercely resisted by brave insurgents, who were treated most barbarously by each of the successive occupying powers when they were captured.

As for Malta, I would love to go there also. Especially with her historic links with the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Squadron. But at the age of 81 travelling is becoming more difficult, alas.

Martin.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Hi Martin,

Very interesting. I did not know Venice's influence went as far South as Crete. Where else do you find Venice's influence in the Mediterranean area?
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Old August 31st, 2010, 03:07 AM
Martin Evans Martin Evans is offline
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Hello Alain,

Apart from what I know about the built heritage on Crete, I do not know much about the Venetian Republic. I do know that Venice became wealthy through trade with the Eastern Mediterranean countries - The Levant - and by the time of the First Crusade (1095-99) Venice was able to contribute a fleet of ships. The Crusades - a thoroughly nasty and brutal aspect of European semi-religious power culture - resulted in the destruction of Constantinople in 1204, which was when Venice acquired Crete (as well as the famous bronze horses)..

I have looked at some historical atlases. They show Venetian colonization of many Adriatic islands, and some coastal areas of Dalmatia in the 11th to 13th centuries. For a time even parts of the Greek peloponnese were under Venetian influence: I seem to remember seeing a very good book on the Crusader castles in Greece, some of which might have been built by Venetians participating in this expansion into the Levant.

Venice acquired Crete as a result of the Holy Roman Empire's attack on Byzantium and the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Even Cyprus was under Venetian control for a time. These two islands would mark the southernmost limit of the Venetian Republic's empire. There were other odd colonies too: the island now called Evvoia or Euboia on the east coast of Greece. One of my maps shows Georgia, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, coloured to indicate it as under Venetian control - but I am not sure if this is just a mapping quirk.

Venice gradually lost power and wealth, and with it her colonies. Cyprus was lost in 1573. Crete was taken by the Ottoman Turks in a series of attacks and sieges between about 1645 and 1669, with a few isolated places remaining under Venetian control until 1715.

The book: "Rough Guide to Crete" has a useful very brief history. Most of the history of the Venetian Republic has focussed on the artistic achievements. John Julius Norwich seems to be the best admired modern author: he is a British art historian. Ruskin before him wrote "The Stones of Venice", a very influential book of the Victorian period. I must confess not to having read either of these books!

There is a useful Wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venetian_Republic which I ought to read carefully sometime!

I hope this is of some interest, even if rather off-topic.

Martin
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