by Štěpán Zavřel
At school, the teacher is telling the story of Venice.
Venice was born on the sea, she says. A long time ago Venice was one of the most important cities in Italy. Its boats traveled far away and the merchants brought back lots of precious objects like gold, silk and spices. Thus Venice soon became very rich and very powerful and its inhabitants wanted to live in wonderful palaces.
To protect the city from the waters of the sea, they thought of building the houses, the churches, the port and the monuments on stilts, i.e. on huge wooden poles planted one by one on the bottom of the lagoon. And they were right, because, over the centuries, Venice with its narrow streets, churches, bridges and small squares, and its beautiful houses, Venice with its gondolas, canals, arcades and statues, with its beautiful balconies...
Venice was like a dream, like a paradise placed above the water. But one bad day the sea began to rise and, little by little, despite the stilt houses, the sea grew between the houses. One day, Venice will be completely covered in water.
One day, Venice will disappear forever at the bottom of the sea..." The children listen attentively and the teacher adds: "Take pencil and paper, brushes and colors... try to imagine what Venice will be like tomorrow... Try to draw Venice under the sea!"