I was visiting someone in Venice (Italy) this year. While being there, I bought some sweets from the local shops, as they were practically invading the streets, and could hardly passed unnoticed with their oversized meringues, liquorices and pills of other colorful cookies. I chose three out of the variety and built a small sugarhouse made entirely out of the purchased sweets. The next day, I let it flow onto one of the canals of the city. It has drowned in less than a minute.
Venice was an empire at some point. The republic, being now only 414.57 km2 in area, was a ruling force before its ending in the 17th century. It used to be the USA or China of past times. And just as other great powers during history, it used to make use of slavery and even created one of the first Ghettos to have seen the face of the Earth. It was a time when the highly praised commercial power and the military force were its known trademarks.
The discovery of America in 1492 and the opening of the trade route around the southern tip of Africa in 1498 spelled the beginning of the end for Venice. No longer did the Venetians control all trade with the East. Despite this, it was still a great city, with a flourishing culture of art and music. Most of the buildings standing today were built in this period. The end finally came when Napoleon decided to finish the Venetians once and for all and conquered the city as part of his Austrian campaign in 1797.
After that, as they say, it's history; as the new worlds and their new trade routes were discovered, the biggest of states got a lot smaller, becoming merely an exhibition hall, a large doom where you go out of melancholy and nostalgia. A worn out image of what it once was, it stands today as a shopping city mall at the street corner in the alleged global village.
As the life of the city is long gone, it may be less significant for the present age than a frozen image in time, a random biased memory of its past glory. It is said to disappear under the high waters, the last groups of tourists contributing and taking a view at its destruction.
I have added also a link to excerpts from the Encyclopedia Britannica, the BBC and other sources, making almost half of my inspiration, nearly as much as the city itself.