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Rialto Bridge is the oldest and one of the most famous Venetian bridges. It connects both banks of the Grand Canal and is considered to be the geographical center of the city. The huge, single-span structure is decorated with historic arcades. Three-speed stairs and a street built on both sides with souvenir shops lead across the bridge.
On the left bank of the channel is the oldest part of the city - Rialto. From the very beginning of Venice, it was a commercial district, and therefore important and strategic for economic development. That is why the first bridge was built here in the 13th century. The contemporary stone structure was erected in the years 1588–1591, after its previous wooden version collapsed.
The Rialto Bridge is 48 meters long, 28 meters span and is 22 meters wide. It was supported on one arch, rising 7.5 meters above the water level and set on thousands of oak piles, driven to strengthen it at the bottom of the channel.