Venice: Doge’s Palace

March 27, 2018

By Tab Byrum

During our stay in Venice, we toured the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the Basilica which is usually the rule in most churches and Cathedrals in Europe, but we were allowed to photograph the interiors of the Palace. The current Doge’s Palace was first built in 1340 and is done in the style known as Venetian Gothic. The Doges were the elected officials in Venice who basically ran the city, they were also the Chief Magistrate and they were elected for life. The Doges ruled in Venice for 1,100 years with the last Doge being Ludovico Manin who abdicated in 1797 after Napoleon marched into Italy and conquered the city of Venice. Today the Doge’s Palace is a museum and filled with gorgeous art and murals and is available to be toured year-round, we recently went on our tour during the snowstorm I was telling you about. We were able to tour the Palace itself and the rooms that the Doge and other Venetian officials used to greet dignitaries from other countries as well as the armory and the prison that is next door to the Palace and can be reached by crossing the Bridge of Sighs. Join me today for a tour of the Palace and as always, Enjoy!!! (above image via)

 

When you first enter the Doge’s Palace through the visitor’s entrance you are looking into a large courtyard and directly in front of you is the Foscari Arch. The Arch is filled with ornamentation and done in the Gothic style, it looked especially beautiful today because of the snow. 

Once inside you are able to see masterpieces on the walls throughout the Palace, many of them done by masters such as Titian like this one. This is Doge Antonio Grimani Kneeling In Front Of The Figure Of Faith, 1575-1576. 

This is the Sala del Collegio and is considered by many to be the most beautiful room in the Palace. This is where the Doge and his advisors would meet and it’s also where they would receive foreign guests. Over the throne is a painting by Veronese and was done in 1578. You can always find the Doge in paintings because he’s always portrayed kneeling and wearing his pointed cap. 

I always talk about treating your ceiling as the fifth wall in a room and that’s something the Italians have done to the extreme, this is the ceiling in the Sala del Senato, the room where the Senate met to make decisions and set policy. 

A painting of some advisors to a Doge.

This is the Bridge of Sighs where condemned prisoners crossed over from the Palace to Prison. 

This was a photo I took as we crossed the Bridge of Sighs from the Palace to the Prison, this was the last glimpse some people had of the outside world for years or forever. 

This is the Scala dei Giganti or Staircase of Giants which leads from the Arch up to the State Apartments of the Doge. The staircase is named not because it’s so big but because of the two giant statues at the top of Mars on the left and Neptune on the right. The two statues are meant to symbolize the power of Venice on both the land and the sea. 

A better look at the two statues to give you an idea of their size. 

This might seem like an odd photo to end with but in addition to having beautiful ceilings in all their buildings, the Italians are geniuses when it comes to floors. We were constantly seeing gorgeous floors. This one is done in three different types of marble that have been laid out in a geometric pattern that resembles a trellis pattern. It’s almost like an M.C. Escher painting that you could fall through the lighter colored areas if you aren’t careful. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed our photos and stories from Venice and check back tomorrow as we move on the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence. Have a great day and Enjoy!!!

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