Gondola: what in it unusual?
Yes practically all! The unique water transport which is given rise by close channels of Venice where two-rowboats could not squeeze. The asymmetric case, non-standard engineering decisions, special technology of management turned a gondola into a bright symbol of Venice.
In the Middle Ages of a gondola already finally forced out other types of vessel in Venice, and during blossoming of the republic the number of Venetian “castles“ reached ten thousand.
First of all we will place points over shock “about“. It is correct to speak “gondola“, but not “gondola“. Russia speaks incorrectly because of poets. A verbal liberty in the Russian poetry allowed for the sake of beauty of a rhyme. Gondoliers have a special song genre “barcarole“. And so, to rhyme “gondola“ and “barcarole“, an accent and rearranged.
Sadly, but on parking of gondolas of modern Venice about barcaroles words. There only quotations on serenades (20-30 euros), and modern gondoliers sing any pop-music like “O sole mio“ or just whistle cheerful Neapolitan motive.
The gondola is asymmetric: its left board is 24 centimeters longer, right. The case of the boat has the rounded-off form, and the nose and a stern are raised up. It reduces the area of contact with water and allows the oarsman to be guided better on water - the nose of the boat carries out a role of a peculiar sight. Also other feature of a gondola is known: the oarsman makes identical effort at control of the empty and loaded boat.
To call a gondola oarlock an oarlock is, believe, an insult. The beautiful word “forkol“ (ital. “fork“) is suitable for this extremely difficult wooden design reminding a many-sided edge much more - a hook of a modern opener for cans. The oar is fixed in “forkola“ in the different ways: for slow advance, for powerful fast rowing, for rotation and turns of the boat, for delay and a backing.
The skilled gondolier easily “switches“ an oar from one mode to another, and for the night takes away “forkola“ home (as motorists take away the car accumulator) for safety reasons. In - the first to steal a gondola without “forkola“ extremely difficult, and in - the second, in itself it costs under one thousand euros! Production of this detail takes from three days to one week. And you speak, an oarlock!
And how the well-known bent gondola nose with an iron knob, “ôåððî“? Six ledges of a knob symbolize six districts of Venice, the seventh strip sent to the opposite side symbolizes the island Gvidekka (Dzhudekka), and a curve - the doge`s hat. However, purpose of a nozzle not so decorative. “Ferro“ is a counterbalance to the gondolier, helps to determine height of the coming bridge, plus to it the iron tip protects the wooden case of the vessel.
Technology of management of a gondola special - jog. Not so much row with an oar how many repeat the special movements, shaking at the same time the boat. As a result the vessel moves wavy, and the true skill is required to miss each other in the narrow channel with other boats.
About five centuries gondolas withdrew and turned black. Venetians ceased to paint them in different colors and to do patterns. The reason for that - the next epidemic of plague. Three times this illness came to Venice for all history of the city and every time took away two thirds of lives. There were many corpses, there were not enough boats, and then many gondolas found mourning coloring, having turned into such boats of Charon, the dead who died to the world bringing souls. Gondolas carried dead persons to their world too - on the island - the cemetery San - Michele.
Waiting for new epidemics Venetians decided not to recolour the boats, and black color became official for a gondola. Today, having taken seat with the beloved in a black gondola, you formally go to a final journey on a trupovozka. Romantically, truth?
The association of gondoliers arose 1000 years ago. Perhaps, one of the oldest, and precisely the stablest labor union on the planet. Remember that the modern gondolier is an individual entrepreneur, mercenary and thinking only of benefit. Its boat costs about 40 000 euro (and sometimes much more), it has four hundred competitors (the number of gondoliers is strictly regulated), and it to death was bothered by all these monotonous routes between corroded sea salt the walls which densely acquired a green moss from seaweed and slime.
Most of Venetians at all the life never sits down in a gondola. They even slightly contemptuously concern gondoliers, including them something like clowns. It is easy to understand Venetians: the image of the gondolier is same “cranberry“, as for us bears in caps with ear-flaps on the head and with a balalaika in paws.