Doge's Palace, Venice
The Doge's Palace is located in the most extraordinary city of Italy – Venice. Since the Middle Ages the palace have served as the residence of the rulers of the Venetian Republic – the Doges. The palazzo is situated on St. Mark's Square. Today there is a museum in the palace and there is an entrance fee. In Italian: Palazzo Ducale.
History of the Doge’s Palace
The Senate, the Supreme Court, the Grand Council, the police and the Inquisition all sat in the Doge’s Palace. The current building is the fourth Doge’s Palace. For more than 10 centuries (till the 18th century) the title of the doge was born by the head of the Venetian Republic.
The first building, created on the ancient ruins in the form of a fortress, was destroyed at the end of the 10th century during a riot. The second palace burnt down in the 12th century during the fire, and the third was old, and not aesthetically beautiful, as it did not match the style and concept of the inhabitants of Venice about the greatness of the republic. Therefore, in the 14th century, the construction of a new palace, a masterpiece of European Gothic and Byzantine styles, was started.
This is exactly how the Doge’s Palace in Venice looks like today – the building looks like a medieval ship, its facades overlooking a small square located near St. Mark's Square and the Venetian harbor. In the courtyard you can get through several gates, the most famous of them – Paper. Here, orders were written and deals were concluded. Two floors are decorated in the form of open galleries. The walls of the upper floor are lined with pink marble. Events took place at the top of the Giants’ Stairs where coronations took place. The halls are decorated with paintings by famous masters of the Renaissance – Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto.
The most famous building of the Doge's Palace is the hall of the Grand Council. This is the largest room, with an area of 1350 square meters, with a ceiling without a single supporting. On the top of the walls portraits of all the Doges of Venice, who ruled the republic are exhibited one after another.
Everyone, except for the 55th Doge Marino Falier. In the middle of the 14th century, he attempted to carry out a coup d'etat in order to usurp power, but his actions were not supported by either the close people or the public. Doge was executed as a traitor, and the space that his portrait was supposed to occupy was covered with a dark veil, as a reminder of the inviolability of the republican principles of Venice.
Attractions of the Palazzo Ducale
While enjoying the architecture and decorations of the Doge's Palace and admiring the paintings and frescoes, the rich decoration of the halls, do not forget to pay attention to the main attractions of the building:
- In the courtyard there are two wells that supply the best water in Venice; The Ladder of the Giants, as well as the famous window for the denunciations "Lion's Throat".
- A golden staircase decorated with gold stucco, adorned with two statues: on the one hand Hercules, killing the Lernaean hydra, on the other – Atlas, supporting the firmament.
- A huge number of rooms. Particularly impressive is the number of images with lion symbolism – St. Mark, the patron of Venice, is depicted on the city coat of arms in the form of a lion.
- The Armory with many incredible exhibits.
- Bridge of Sighs. Through it, prisoners were taken to court from the courtroom.
- Prison casemates. Some of the premises were located under leaden roofs, while others – in wells below sea level. The conditions in which the prisoners were held were unbearable.
- Balcony on the south facade, called the Doge Tribune. Under it there is the Justice Monument, the work of Alessandro Vittoria.
How to get there
The Doges' Palace is located on San Marco Square, 1. The entrance to the palace is situated on the harbor side. To get to the Doge's Palace in Italy, you need to take a river trolley (vaporetto) and get off at St. Mark's Square. Nearest stations: San Zaccaria and Vallaresso.
Opening hours: from 8:30 to 19:00 (from April to October). From November to March, the museum is open from 8:30 to 17:30. From May 19, 2017, every Friday and Saturday, the Doge's Palace is open until 23:00 (the exceptions are July 19 and September 9, 2017). This is the so-called Museum by the moonlight.