The Venices of the World – Post #2

So far the main focus of the “Replicas of Venice” project has been to research man made replicas, such as the Venetian Macao and the Las Vegas Venetian hotels. Many resorts and entertainment parks around the world use the Italian city’s landmarks as an attraction to tourists. It is thus important to observe what features they chose to copy in order to recreate the Venetian feel. As a result of the executed preliminary research, the most prominent feature ended up being the Venetian Grand Canal.

The canal, however, is not unique to the city of Venice. Being located in proximity to rivers, seas and oceans was a key strategic decision in town settlement throughout the development of civilization. As a result, today it is not uncommon to have a canal running through the city center. Countless cities around the world are being referred to as Venice of the North, the East, and the West due to the presence of canals in the town’s center. This brings the question why Venice and not another city has become this symbol.

“A picture is worth a thousand words” – for a more vivid picture of the Venices throughout the world, there is a map of most of the places named “Venice of X”. Not surprisingly, many of the places are in Europe, where Venice is well known for being an important transportation and commercial hub.


Venice of the North

Many towns in northern Europe, including St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Bruges, are referred to as “Venice of the North” because of the presence of canals. Amsterdam has more canals and bridges than Venice itself. Hamburg, on the other hand, has more than Amsterdam and Venice combined: over 2,300 total [Fake Venices Around the World].

The city of Hamburg doesn’t have much architectural resemblance to Venice other than the presence of canals. The city was rebuilt after World War II and for the most part it has modern architecture with wide open streets and massive dark colored buildings. It does share some common history with the Italian city. Both Venice and Hamburg are important centers of commerce, being located respectively on the Mediterranean and the North sea.  This strategic location provided them with the resources to be independent city states for a long period of time in their history. Similar characteristics are shared with the other northern European Venices, all of them located on the sea.

Venice of the East

Bangkok (Thailand), Alappuzha (India), Suzhou (China) and Malacca (Malaysia) are some of the cities in East Asia being referred to as Venice of the East.

By far the research done shows that the common trait of all of the places nicknamed Venice is the presence of canal network along with the bridges. The famous Grand Canal in Venice is a feature that is so strongly associated with the city that even a mere resemblance or just a notion of water roads are more that enough for being called Venice.


Despite the presence of the canal, none of the other cities on this list have reached the same tourist popularity as Venice. Even though this is the landmark most often associated with the Italian town, it is not what actually differentiates it. The rich Venetian culture is something that no other city possesses and cannot be replicated.



BootsnAll Travel Articles, (2015). Fake Venices Around the World. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2015].

Hamburg, a. (2014). Hamburg, a getaway to the Venice of the North – TravelBlog Barceló. [online] TravelBlog Barceló. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2015].

Hamburg, a. (2014). Hamburg, a getaway to the Venice of the North – TravelBlog Barceló. [online] TravelBlog Barceló. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2015].