The City on Stilts

Venice is known as “the city on stilts”. But what is actually true about this? Some of Venice's buildings do indeed stand on stilts and wooden piles, or at least their canal-side façades. However, the foundations of the city are sandbanks. Brick walls were built vertically into the sandy, muddy bottom of the lagoon, about 80 cm deep. These walls are supported by wooden beams on the individual floors. Only on the facades facing the canals were tree trunks actually driven into the ground to strengthen them. In combination with clay and silt, this is intended to prevent slippage. The construction is so strong that it even holds up the many magnificent palaces of Venice. And it still does today. This is because the wood has not rotted over the years, but rather strengthened. This is due to the fact that wood is virtually preserved without contact with air. So as long as the wood is covered by water, nothing can harm it.