Tourist Guide Venice

Doge’s Palace

Doge’s Palace has become history set in stone. This building holds so many secrets and so many treasures from many different eras that a visit could almost make one giddy. To even attempt to capture the dimensions of this structure first requires a few facts: In total 120 Doges ruled over Venice from this palace for over 1000 years. The first Doge’s Palace to be built in this spot however, has for a long time no longer existed. The present building emerged in the 14th and early 15th Century during the era of Gothic style. The façade –which is present in almost all city views over Venice, is covered in gleaming white marble and decorated with numerous small arches, pillars and columns.

Doge’s Palace

If the Doge’s Palace; which incidentally is located such that its front faces the lagoon, is entered via St Mark’s Square through the extremely impressive main entrance – the ‘Porta della Carta’ the exterior already exudes an almost unreal beauty that, from the inside it is simply overwhelming. The design of the interior began in the 16th Century. At this time Venice was not only at the height of its power – with a lot of money in the city coffers, but it also saw a cultural bloom. Accordingly the best painters of the era were hired to decorate the interior of the palace. Whether Tizian, father and son-Tintoretto or Paolo Veronese; not a single important name from amongst the elite painters is missing from this palace. Jacopo Tintoretto and his son alone painted the portraits of 96 Doges. Many of the paintings in the ornate reception rooms have huge dimensions and depict key scenes from the long history of the seafaring republic. In addition to this one can see a picture by the famous Flemish painter Hieronymous Bosch in the palace.

There are also some architectural features to admire which show that the Doges liked to make things comfortable. For instance the ‘Erizzo-room’ has a window which in the past had a special significance. From here a ladder led down into the hanging gardens of the Palace. Here the ruler could enjoy a breath of fresh undisturbed. Doge’s Palace with all its glory was of course designed to impress representatives of foreign powers and to express Venice’s wealth and primacy through architectural means. Woe to those however for whom Venice did not approve of. They experienced the other side of the Doge’s Palace – that of a ruthless court. Anyone that was condemned here was taken directly over the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ into the adjoining prison.

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