The Ducale Palace

In this chapter we discuss one of the most visited palaces in the world, among the most spectacular and evocative of Venezia, the Ducale Palace.

In the eighth century the first inhabitants of Venezia, still dominated by the Byzantine Empire, decided to be governed by a doge, so they began to look for a suitable place for the seat of the new government. It was in this way that in 810 the doge Agnello Partecipazio donated the small island that now houses the palace in front of the San Marco basin, thus beginning the construction of a wooden fortress that surrounded the doges residence and the first church of San Marco.

Obviously, over the centuries, the building has undergone many changes, but it has always been the seat of the Venetian government, a doge’s residence and a courthouse. His designers broke with tradition, supporting the bulk of the Verona marble palace, on a loggia in Istrian stone pierced like a lace, which in turn rests on a large porch. The result is a true emblem of the flowery Gothic style, an elegant, delicate, sumptuous palace that highlights the aesthetic ambitions and power of the Venetian doges, and which transformed the San Marco district into a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

The place of greatest impact of the building is undoubtedly the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, the largest in the world, with the characteristic of being free of vertical elements such as columns or pillars. Initially, inside the palace, there were also prisons but in 1569, for reasons of space, the construction of the New Prisons was necessary. A small curiosity about the Ducale Palace, is the upper wall, characterized by a frieze with portraits of the first 76 doges.

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