> Finding the Foundry


On the Edge of the City





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The word ghetto was coined here in Venice, taken from the Venetian term for a foundry which was located on the site where, in 1516, the city's Jews were ordered to relocate within what became a walled enclave which was locked at night.

It is now a quiet byway, quite literally on the backwaters of Venice. It is difficult to imagine how it must have teemed with people from all over Europe and the Mediterranean region, people sharing a common religious bond.


Left: The most dramatic entrance to the ghetto is through this covered walkway, which opens onto the broad central piazza (above). 

 Right: The cupola of the Sephardic Shul can be glimpsed here, just above the arched window in the unpainted clap-board addition.

Below: The shaded entry to the Ghetto Novissimo.

Below right: Judean Lions still guard the Calle degli Ghetto Vecchio, the ghetto's main thoroughfare. Coincidentally, the Lion was also a symbol of Venice, due to its association with St. Mark the Evangelist, patron Saint of the city.








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© 2010 W. Luther Jett. All rights reserved.