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Building or group of buildings for the manufacture and storage of warships, weapons or ammunition. The term (from the Arabic dar accina‛ah: ‘workshop’) was first used at the Arsenale in Venice, where both the military and the commercial ships of the Venetian Republic were built. According to tradition, the Arsenale at Venice was founded in 1104, although recent research has suggested a later date at the beginning of the 13th century. As Venetian maritime power increased, the Arsenale grew in size, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, eventually occupying 46 ha, surrounded by walls and canals (seeVenice, fig.). The Arsenale’s importance was emphasized by its monumental architecture, including one of the city’s first Renaissance buildings, the Great Gateway (1460), attributed to Antonio Gambello, which is in the form of a triumphal arch. Despite the scale of the Arsenale at Venice, Venetian naval power was successfully challenged by the Ottoman Empire, whose own ...

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