|Within the arsenal, sixteen thousand workers were spread over the 25-hectare yards and bassins. They were responsible for the fondries, the gun, oar and mast factories, the wood, coal and gunpowder warehouses, the maintenance of the dry docks and the supervision of the resins. Through assembly-line work, the output was exceptionel and the constructions extremely fast. No industrial activity in Europe could compare to it. By passing in front of the workshop openings, all the equipement to be taken on board could be loaded sucessively : ropes, balusters, mortars, oars, food supplies and men.
A galley could be equiped in a single day. The arsenal was always on a war footing and always maintained a reserve of one hundred galleys in immediate working order.
Until the 17th century, by adapting to all techniques, Venice was responsible for fifty thousand sailors.
From the 13th century, maritime navigation ensured the development of international trade and enriched Venice with the export of its mirors, glass, sugar, wheat, wool and skins from its colonies. The Mongol Empire offered prosperous markets with raw silk, spices and exotic products. Also, traders went there to etablish monopolies. Trading posts were founded as far as the Black Sea.
Venice became one of the largest trading centres in the West. It reached its apoge at the end of the 13th century and maintained its eminent position until the 16th century : three centuries of welth and glory.
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