If you have visited Venice or other towns in the Veneto region, you may have noticed the round wooden poles. The wooden poles are structures formed of two or three wooden poles that you can spot in the water of the lagoon and the canals.
Venice history dates back many years when people sought refuge. These people built upon the lagoon for safety from being attacked. In the lagoon there a collection of small island of rock and mud and it was here that these people started driving round wood pilings into the mud and sand and into clay. The round wood pilings became the initial foundation. However, there is another question to be answered. Where did the round wood come from as Venice did not did have any forest? The wood was gathered in forest far away in the mountains of Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro.The timber was then transported by water to Venice.
Yet, wood rots. How could the Venetians use vertical round wood pilings in the salt water for a foundations system without the wood rotting? The wood is not exposed to oxygen as it is submerged in the water and mud and as a result it does not rot. In fact the wood becomes petrified due to a constant flow of mineral rich water around and through it. As a result the wood becomes a hardened stone-like structure.
Once the all round wood pilings are driven side by side into the mud of the lagoon as the initial foundation, they are then cut level where horizontal timber are laid. A stone foundation is then placed on top of the horizontal timbers. From there the building is built using round wood framing techniques or brick. Who would ever have thought that the city of Venice with all its canals and gondolas was built on a foundation of wood?