- "The Commonwealth of Venice in their armory have this inscription: 'Happy is that city which in time of peace thinks of war'."
- –Robert Burton
The Venetian Arsenal is invaluable for civilizations that seek naval supremacy. Its owner receives a second naval unit for each one produced (but not those purchased with Gold or Faith), allowing him or her to build a powerful navy as quickly as the Scythians can build a powerful force of cavalry. It also provides Great Engineer points, which will speed up the owner's acquisition of Great Engineers who can develop his or her cities and supplement their Production potential.
Harald Hardrada should definitely attempt to build the Venetian Arsenal, which has strong synergy with his leader ability and will allow him to dominate both the oceans and the coastlines. This wonder is also a viable choice for Brazil to make the most of their fearsome Minas Geraes. England with her Sea Dogs is yet another civilization that can benefit greatly from securing this wonder, since the Sea Dogs will be able to further bolster England's already impressive navy by capturing enemy ships.
The Arsenal of Venice, begun about 1104 AD, was eventually a sprawling complex of shipyards, armories, and weapons shops. Built to serve the needs of the Venetian Navy upon which the Republic relied for both its independence and its lucrative sea trade routes, it was termed “the most important example of a large production complex with a centralized structure of the pre-industrial” civilization. Different areas of the Arsenal produced a prefabricated ship part, armaments, rope, sails and everything needed to put together a warship in a single day if necessity demanded. A state-owned forest in the Montello hills provided the timber and tar. The Porto Magna (“great gate”) to the Arsenal was added c. 1460, from a design by the artist Jacopo Bellini, the first Classical Revival structure built in Venice; two stone lions, captured in Greece, were added to the entrance in 1687 to awe visitors. The Arsenal also, when not launching warships to beat down Venice’s challengers in the Mediterranean, produced most of the Venetian merchant ships bringing wealth back to the city-state … to build more ships.