History in MestreEdit This
Legend explains that Mestre was founded by Mesthles, a companion of Antenor, who was a fugitive of Troy. The true origins of the city are unknown, but it is a fact that a Roman fortress existed here for some time until it was destroyed by Atila and then rebuilt in the 10th century. With no lagoon to protect it, Mestre's fortifications were battled over for the centuries that followed. It was not easy being a neighbor of the Venetians.
The first historical mention of Mestre comes in the form of a diploma, by which the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III granted the count of Treviso a tract of land named Mestre. Later, a papal bull by Pope Eugene III recognized the bishop of Treviso as lord of Mestre in 1152. For the coming centuries Mestre followed the rise of Venice; its port benefited from the economic growth of Venice.
Venetian domination ended in 1797, when it came under the auspicious of Napoleon's empire. In 1808, Mestre declared itself a commune, as was the French practice. Mestre lost this status after subsequent Austrian and Italian rule, then became a city again in 1923, but was finally annexed to the commune of Venice 3 years later.
20th Century to Today
After the construction of a big port and industrial complex on the shores of the lagoon by Port Marghera, many migrants began to move to Mestre. In the 1960s Mestre grew even more as Venetians began moving over the water, searching for more room and comfort. Today the population of Mestre nears 200,000.
The most impressive feature of Mestre today is its long main square, Piazza Ferretto, where one will find the restored clock tower, the Torre Civica. Many people overlook visiting Mestre, having believed the reports that it is an ugly and industrial city. While this may be true to an extent, one can still find quaint cafes and be taken away by the gentle hustle and bustle of the city center.
March 31, 2010 change by stolsen