Center of power
Standing side by side to St. Mark’s Basilica, the impressive Doge’s Palace was the most powerful place in Europe for 400 long years. Home of the Doge and seat of the Venetian government, the palace was built to show the world the wealth and power of the Republic. With harmonious design and lovely pale colors, the Doge’s Palace has delightful stone carving façade and interior covered with masterpieces by Tintoretto and Veronese, Carpaccio, Titian and Bellini.
Light Gothic architecture, rich ornamentation
Constructed during the ninth century, the Doge’s Palace was repeatedly rebuilt, but it took shape once the Sala del Maggior Consiglio was finished, with its waterfront position and entrance from the Porta della Carta. The lower section façade of the palace features a colonnade of loggias and solid walls above, creating a light feeling. The palace has large courtyard with Scala d’Oro golden stairway, plenty of ornamentation, biblical and historic scenes, pink marble and white limestone walls. On its central platform are to be seen the statue of the winged lion of St. Mark and the statue of the Doge Francesco Fooscari.
The interior is elaborate, made of stucco, while the ceilings feature ornate works of art. On the second floor is to be seen the Doge’s apartment, and the Grand Chamber Council – meeting room of the Venice elite covering almost the entire length of the southern façade looking at the lagoon. On the third one is the Sala del Collegio used for meetings with the foreign ambassadors, the map room, the armory and the Venice Doges portraits, except for one that disgraced himself.
The nearby Bridge of Sighs connects the Doge’s Palace to the prison at Rio di Palazzo.