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The gondole now used in Venice consists of 280 pieces of wood (oak larch, walnut tree, cherry tree, lime, cedar and plywood) 8 gasolines different of wood enter its manufacture, and of two metal parts located in prow and poop. The boat is 10,80 meters long and 1,38 meters broad for a weight of 600 kilogrammes. More half of the gondole is out of the water with a normal load. Low and light to be handy, it is propelled by only one oarsman who is held upright with the left back while rowing right-sided, from where the asymmetry of the gondole, modification introduced at the XIXe century. Asymmetry: 24cm with port side. The transverse axis is thus shifted towards the line to take account of the weight of the gondolier while the left side is more curved in order to keep a right trajectory. The single oar consists of wood indonésien and measures 4,20 meters. Punt, it is not fixed, which makes it possible to release it quickly, and rests simply on the forcola, piece of wood generally consisted of drowning, crossed in only one piece of wood and cut according to measurements of the gondolier. The morsi (bit), these eight round notches, are used to row. Each one is used for a precise operation (front walk, step back, short turn, rotation on the spot). Undermined (“horse”), ornament with semi-length of the gondole on the level of the balustrades, represents allegorical figures like hippocampi or a siren. The fero of prova (Venetian term to indicate the figurehead of the gondole) in the beginning was used to counterbalance the weight of the gondolier. During the XVIIe century, it acquired a precise symbolic system. The six parallel horizontal bars symbolize the six sestieri (“districts”) of Venice and the bar located behind the island of Giudecca. The curve symbolizes as for it the Large Channel. Lastly, the empty space formed by the meeting of the higher figure and the first bar represents the Bridge of Rialto. It is always white. The squeri build the gondoles while the remeri manufacture the oars and carve the forcola. It takes currently approximately a month to manufacture a gondole, whose standard model costs 20.000 euros. Use Today, the gondole is used more only by the tourists. 400 gondoliers have a navigation permit whereas one estimated at 10.000 the number of gondoles in XVIe century.

Sources: wikipedia

(I hope the automatic English tranlation is ok...!!)

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Additional Photos by pascal podevin (pascal13) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 91 N: 176] (2098)
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