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The history of Palazzo Ducale

When we talk about Italy, the first emerging associations are undoubtedly historical buildings and cultural landmarks. Each of the cities has its own history, which as a time machine transports us to those distant years and enchants us with its uniqueness. Being in the state of the Renaissance, we can feel the spirit of the great Italian sculptors, architects, and artists, whose creations have become masterpieces. In short, we have the opportunity to go through the centuries to enjoy the art that has preserved its identity and to immerse ourselves in the life of the Italians in those glorious times for them.

In today’s article, we will raise the curtain over a historic building that has undergone various changes and stood the test of time – the Doge’s Palace. Its history dates back to the 14th century when the rulers of the Venetian Republic unanimously decided to build a palace that fully corresponded to the beauty and power of the city of Venice. The construction project was handed over to Filippo Calendared, who was unfortunately executed due to treason in 1355, and this necessitated its termination. This is the reason for the construction of the palace in two stages – east wing / 1340. / and west wing / 100 years later /.

The architectural style is defined as Gothic with admixtures of Byzantine influence. Three main wings that divide the palace, two of which rest on the Basilica of San Marco. In 1438, the Porta Della Carta was built by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon, which was also the main entrance to the building. It depicts the doge Francesco Focsani, who was famous for his victories for Venice, and her name means – the paper gate. This comes from city decrees that have been used in the past to help citizens learn their content.

The Doge’s Palace was the residence of the ruler of Venice, as well as political bodies, including the Grand Council and the Council of Ten. It also housed courts, bars, offices, courtyards, and prisons built in the 16th century. Interesting about the building is the legend of its two red columns, which says that the blood of the hanged, in the past, was smeared on them. In the same century, raging fires necessitated the reconstruction of the palace, and in the next century, the so-called New Prisons were built.

At the end of the 18th century, it became the seat of the administrative services. The Doge’s Palace has undergone several renovations since Venice joined the Kingdom of Italy. This marks its beginning as one of the most important and remarkable museums in the city.

Visiting the majesty of the palace, we can walk through the centuries and enjoy the rich Venetian history, intertwined with various cultural attractions. One of them is the Staircase of the Giants – the coronations of the Doges, who had the honor of enjoying the majestic statues of Mars and Neptune, took place there. The Golden Staircase – here we have the opportunity to admire the gold-decorated vault. We cannot miss the Hall of the Grand Council, which is the largest hall in the palace; its hallmarks are the unique murals and paintings. Last but not least, the Lion’s Mouth Compass Hall, where we will see Zeus himself depicted on the arch and the Prisons – from where the famous Casanova escapes. These are just some of the landmarks that the building contains and that preserve the magnificent history of medieval Italy.