The term arsenal derives from the Arabic expression "darsina'a" (which mixes the words dock and shipyard), subsequently modified into the Venetian form "darzanà" (from which the Dante coining "arzanà" derives), "arzanàl" (or " arsenàl ") and finally the arsenal.

The foundation of this large shipyard dates back to 1104 under the Doge of Ordelafo Falier and started from two islands called "Twins". From the fourteenth century it gradually began to expand by increasing the number of construction sites and buildings such as the "Casa del Canevo" (building used for the manufacture of hawsers, redesigned in 1579 by Andrea da Ponte) and the New Arsenal (built in 1325 which followed in 1473 the very new); the area was further enriched later by the canal and the shelter of the Galeazze, the Darsena Nuovissima and the Squero delle Gagiandre, the latter attributed to a project by Sansovino.

A curiosity: the gagiandra (stationed float or armed raft), is given by the Boerio as galàna or turtle, the armored animal that we all know.

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