AskDefine | Define gondola

Dictionary Definition



1 a low flat-bottomed freight car with fixed sides but no roof [syn: gondola car]
2 long narrow flat-bottomed boat propelled by sculling; traditionally used on canals of Venice
3 car suspended from an airship and carrying personnel and cargo and power plant [syn: car]

User Contributed Dictionary



etyl vec, which likely derives from the Mieveal Greek_language kontoura


  • a UK /ˈgɒn.də.lə/, /"gQn.d@.l@/


  1. A small long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, propelled with a single oar.
  2. A hanging platform or car for transporting people or cargo
    1. An enclosed car attached to a cable mechanically lifted up the side of a mountain; an enclosed ski lift; a cable car.
    2. The car or basket of a hot-air balloon, airship, zeppelin, etc.
    3. The hanging cart in which a glass-cleaning worker stands to clean exterior glass on tall buildings.
    4. That part of a transporter bridge that carries passengers, vehicles, along the length of the bridge span.
  3. A type of open railway car with low sides, used to carry heavy freight such as crushed rock or steel.

External links



  1. gondola

Extensive Definition

A gondola is a traditional Venetian sculling boat. Gondolas were for centuries the chief means of transportation within Venice and still have a role in public transport, serving as traghetti (ferries) over major canals.
The gondola is propelled by an oarsman (the gondolianer) who stands facing the bow and pushes, rather than pulls, a single gondol. Contrary to popular belief the gondola is never poled like a punt as the waters of Venice are too deep. A gondola for passengers may have a small open cabin, for their protection against sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
It is estimated that there were several thousand gondolas during the 18th century. There are a few hundred today, most of which are for hire by tourists, while a few serve as traghetti or are in private ownership and use.
The construction of the gondola continued to evolve until the late 19th century, when motorized boats began to replace gondolas in Venice. A gondola is long and narrow, with an asymmetrical outline to facilitate propulsion with a single oar, and a good deal of rocker (lengthwise curvature) to minimise the area of contact with the water. The oar or rèmo is held in an oar lock known as a fòrcola. The forcola is of a complicated shape, allowing several positions of the oar for slow forward rowing, powerful forward rowing, turning, slowing down and rowing backwards. The iron ornament on the front of the boat is called the fèrro. It serves to protect the prow from accidental damage, as decoration and as counterweight for the gondolier standing near the stern.
Gondolas are hand made using 8 different types of wood (fir, oak, cherry, walnut, elm, mahogany, larch and lime) and are composed of 280 pieces. The oars are made of beech wood. The left side of the gondola is made longer than the right side. This asymettry causes the gondola to turn to the right to counter the turn to the left caused by the gondolier's stroke on the right side.
Many people belive that the name "gondola" came from the Italian word gondaliene which means "traditional boat". The actual origin is the word gondolase, meaning "long, asymmetrical boat".


In Amsterdam, also nicknamed the 'Venice of the North', Tirza Mol exploits a gondola (self-built in 1998), after having learned the profession in Venice. It is the only gondola in the Netherlands.

External links

  • Gondola Article
  • Wooden Boat, The Venetian Gondola, April 1977. Penzo, Gilberto; La Gondola, 1999.
gondola in Arabic: غندول
gondola in Bosnian: Gondola
gondola in Bulgarian: Гондола
gondola in Welsh: Gondola
gondola in German: Gondel (Schiff)
gondola in Modern Greek (1453-): Γόνδολα
gondola in Spanish: Góndola
gondola in Persian: گوندولا
gondola in French: Gondole
gondola in Croatian: Gondola
gondola in Indonesian: Gondola
gondola in Italian: Gondola
gondola in Hebrew: גונדולה
gondola in Lithuanian: Gondola
gondola in Dutch: Gondel (boot)
gondola in Japanese: ゴンドラ (船)
gondola in Norwegian: Gondol (båttype)
gondola in Polish: Gondola
gondola in Portuguese: Gôndola
gondola in Russian: Гондола
gondola in Simple English: Gondola
gondola in Slovenian: Gondola
gondola in Serbian: Гондола
gondola in Finnish: Gondoli
gondola in Swedish: Gondol
gondola in Thai: เรือกอนโดลา
gondola in Ukrainian: Гондола
gondola in Venetian: Góndoła
gondola in Chinese: 贡多拉
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1