Doge’s Palace

Imagine making a leap into the past and to be sitting in the halls of the Great Council in front of a fresco and golden tapestry. This is the ancient seat of the Doge’s Palace and Venetian magistrates and it was also the vital place of the Serenissima Republic  from the dawn until the fall. It’s a  masterpiece of Gothic art, with the alternation of  Istria stone and pink marble and the palace is an impressive building  of structural and ornamental elements. The interior, decorated by extraordinary artists such as Titian, Veronese, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Victoria, allows ample and surprising paths: from the enormous halls of political life to the precious rooms of the Doge, from the armory to the prisons crossing the Bridge of sighs, to get to the bright lodges that provide incomparable views over St. Mark’s Basin. After the fall of the Venetian Republic, the purpose of which was decreed in the meeting of the Great Council of  May 12th 1797, the palace was no longer used as the seat of the Doges and the magistrates, but it was used as the seat of the administrative offices of the Napoleonic and Habsburg empires . In 1807 the palace became the seat of the Court of Appeal, while in 1812 the rooms were used as headquarters of the Marciana Library In those years many statues were exhibited in the Doge’s Palace. This situation was changed only much later, when in 1904 the library got its present location and in 1918 when the same fate befell the Archaeological Museum. The prisons, known as “Piombi”, have retained their function for many years and they were the subject of the writings of Silvio Pellico. With the annexation of Venice to the Kingdom of Italy the Doge’s Palace underwent substantial renovations in 1924 and was used as a museum, which is still today.

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