Doge's Palace, Venice

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    PALAZZO DUCALE - INTERIOR DECORATION.

    by breughel Updated Mar 9, 2014

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    Veronese in Sala del Collegio
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    On every visit of the doge's palace I was surprised by the contrast between the brightness, the clear colours and the elegance of the outside facades and the rather dark decoration from the inside of the Doges Palace.
    The sculptured and gilded wooden ceilings, the paintings of the masters Tintoret, Veronese, Bassano, Palma the Young and others do not really cheer up the somewhat ponderous decoration, essentially of the end of the 16th century.
    I believe that this serious, sometimes dark decoration resulted from the function of this palace. It is not here the palace of a sovereign but a building dedicated to the meetings of the various councils and assemblies of the oligarchy governing the republic of Venice. The Doge, elected leader of this oligarchy, occupies, as a tenant, the rather modest private apartments. What a contrast with Versailles under Louis XIV!
    The Palazzo Ducale is essentially a building in with each organ of public administration and government is housed within its own specific premises.
    The functions of government, justice and administration explain probably that serious and dark decoration. No place here for fantasy.
    What a tremendous contrast between the interior of the Palazzo and the cheerfulness of Venice and the festive mood of the Venetians especially in the period of Carnival which in the 18th century would last several months.

    Open: 8.30 - 19 h from 1/04 to 31/10
    8.30 -17.30 h from 1/11 to 31/03.
    Last entrance one hour before closing time. Closed 25/12 and 1/01.
    Price (2014): 16 € , reduced: 10 € .

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Sala del Maggior Consiglio.

    by breughel Updated Mar 9, 2014

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    Sala del Maggior Consiglio - View from balcony.

    The High Council hall is the largest room of the palace (53 x 25 m). It assembles paintings on the ceiling and walls of the most famous Venetian artists of the 16th c. mainly Veronese and Tintoretto.
    The "Paradise" by Tintoretto is said to be the largest painting (22 x 7 m) in the world.
    Even if the quality of a painting is not proportional to its surface, all this is excellent work.

    Nevertheless the first thing visitors do, when entering the huge High Council room, is to go to the balcony and have a look outside on the Canal of San Marco and the Islands of San Giorgio and the Guidecca on the other side. As there is only room for six persons at the balcony, visitors are sometimes queuing to have a view which they will keep in their souvenirs of Venice.
    They may forget the paintings of Veronese and Tintoretto but not that unique view from the balcony on the Laguna.

    You will see on the bottom of my photo that a floating barrier has been installed to protect the quay and the moored gondola from the waves of the motorboats. You will also see that the vaporetto make a wide bend to stay at distance from this quay-molo in front of the Palazzo Ducale.

    See also my video.

    Open: 8.30 - 19 h from 1/04 to 31/10
    8.30 -17.30 h from 1/11 to 31/03.
    Last entrance one hour before closing time. Closed 25/12 and 1/01.
    Price (2014): 16 € , reduced: 10 € .

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Cortile - courtyard.

    by breughel Updated Mar 9, 2014

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    Cortile Renaissance fa��ade (east wing)
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    Among the many palace courtyards I have seen the "Cortile" courtyard of the Doge's Palace remains for me the most dazzling among them.
    The two inner southern (molo side) and western wing (piazzetta side) facades are in brick and show the typical appearance of the Venetian Gothic.
    At the top of the facades stand out against the sky and the campanile elegant embellishments of white marble that suggest a border of lace (photo 3 ).

    Most amazing is certainly the eastern wing with the much more ornate Renaissance façade. The decor of this wing culminates towards the far end in the Giant’s Staircase (photo 1 & 2).
    The courtyard is completely enclosed by porticoes, surmounted by loggia's.
    The northern façade with the triumphal arch dedicated to the Doge Foscari closes the courtyard.
    The "Cortile" courtyard of the Doge's Palace is for me one of the most outstanding architectural marvels of Venice.
    Very good views on the courtyard are those taken from the windows of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio - High Council Hall.

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    Doge's Palace

    by solopes Updated Dec 18, 2013

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    Venice - Italy
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    Right in S. Marco's square, this palace, together with the church, composes one of Venice's most celebrated images.

    As a matter of fact, I've been in Venice at least 4 times, and never entered more than its yard. It's a question of priorities (and companies - changing company you have to rewind prioritiies), but I always leave Venice swearing: "Next time I DO have to enter"

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Palazzo Ducale, Ducal Coat-of-Arms

    by von.otter Written Dec 2, 2013
    Ducal Coat-of-Arms, Palazzo Ducale, Venice, 5/13
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    Vocal with joy. Onward they went, their oars
    Moving in concert with the harmony,
    Through the Rialto to the Ducal Palace,
    And at a banquet, served with honour there,
    Sat representing, in the eyes of all,
    Eyes not unwet, I ween, with grateful tears,
    Their lovely ancestors, the Brides of Venice
    — from ‘Italy, a Poem’ 1814 by Samuel Rogers (1763-1855, English poet)

    The coats-of-arms of some of Venice’s doges have been used throughout the Ducal Palace as a means of decoration and glorification.

    Because doges were noble, their family coat-of-arms was used. It was always topped by the corno ducale, Venice’s unique ducal hat. It resembles the cap worn by Byzantine soldiers.

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    Doge's palace - Exterior facades.

    by breughel Updated Oct 20, 2013

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    Doge's Palace.
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    The Doge's Palace is the most outstanding civilian monument of Venice but it is also a monument of which the architecture is extraordinary in Europe by its originality.
    Indeed when we approach by the lagoon, the best way for a first contact, we are struck by what the architects call an "inversion of masses".

    The bottom of the southern facade of the 15th century, overlooking St. Mark’s Basin, with the open arches of the portico, the fine columns of the loggia in late Gothic style with delicate carvings, is lighter than the upper part formed by a wall of white and pink marble panels with the balcony and only six windows (photo 1). The architects of this marvel were the brothers Dalle Masegne.

    This inversion of the masses surprises the amateur of the Gothic style as used in the civil architecture of the countries of the North of Europe. See for example the city halls of Brussels, Leuven or Oudenaarde in Belgium. Here according to a classic Gothic tradition of construction the buildings are lighter at the upper part.

    The magnificent western facade which looks onto the Piazzetta is in the same late or flowery Gothic style and is based on the same architectural principle: more openings in the lower part than in the upper part of the facade.
    Notice on the left side the two fine red marble columns of the loggia: it is there that were proclaimed the judgments of persons condemned to death (photo 2).

    Open: 8.30 - 19 h from 1/04 to 31/10
    8.30 -17.30 h from 1/11 to 31/03.
    Last entrance one hour before closing time. Closed 25/12 and 1/01.
    Price: 16 € , reduced: 8 € .

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  • shavy's Profile Photo

    Doge's Palace

    by shavy Written Sep 7, 2013
    Doge's Palace
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    Until the eighteenth century Venice was ruled by the Doges. They were not only the boss of Venice, they also gave leadership to the Catholic Church
    The palace that still stands today, was built between 1309 and 1424 the foundations date back to the ninth century the Doge's Palace can be found on the Piazza San Marco, incidentally, the Doges were strict rulers no waste of time you were executed without mercy
    Totally worth of seeing in the palace, you can also visit the old prison and (very impressive)

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Doge's Palace

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Jan 27, 2013

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    Doge's Palace
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    The Doge's Palace or Palazzo Ducale is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice.
    It became a museum in 1923.

    Opening hours
    from April 1st to October 31st
    8.30 am – 7 pm (last admission 6 pm)
    from November 1st to March 31st
    8.30 am – 5.30 pm (last admission 4.30 pm)
    Closed on December 25th and January 1st
    A single ticket valid for the Doge’s Palace, Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.
    This ticket is valid for 3 months and grants one single admission to each museum.

    Ticket full price: 16,00 euros

    Ticket reduced: 8,00 euros
    Children aged from 6 to 14; students aged from 15 to 25*; escorts (max. 2) for groups of children or students (min. 10); citizens over 65; staff of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali*; holders of the “Rolling Venice Card”; F.A.I. members.

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  • Africancrab's Profile Photo

    Palazzo Ducale

    by Africancrab Written Dec 30, 2012

    The Venetians call it Palazzo Ducale, in English it is the Doges Palace. One of the more notable, most visited and most photographed attractions of Venice is the Palazzo Ducale, known many visitors as "The Doge's Palace." Its diamond, pink and beige exterior and Roman columns is hard to miss. It is said to have played a significant part in the history of Venice serving as the seat of elected leaders for over a thousand years.

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    Staircase of the Giants

    by GentleSpirit Updated Dec 1, 2012

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    Stairway of the Giants

    The Giant's Staircase (Scalinata dei Giganti) stands in the Courtyard leading to the Doge's Palace. The two huge statues at the top of the staircase are Neptune and Mars, which symbolize the Venetian Republic's mastery over land and sea.

    To the right is the Senator's Courtyard, so called because the Senators would gather here before meetings.

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    Palazzo Ducale ~ The Doge's Palace

    by starship Updated Apr 11, 2012

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    Unique Design of the Doge
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    Venice has many notable and famous attractions, and one of the most photographed is the beautiful Palazzo Ducale, perhaps more well known as "The Doge's Palace." Its pink & cream exterior diamond pattern with columns, graceful arches and delicate tracery are a commanding presence on the Piazetta San Marco, perhaps only overshadowed by its next door neighbor, the Basilica San Marco.

    The Doge's Palace played a prominent role in the history of Venice, and was the seat of government and home of its elected leader, the Doge, for over 1,000 yrs. The Palace housed rooms of grand scale, design and purpose. It functioned as the center of law, civil/municipal administration, and even a prison. There is a famous and fascinating account of the escape of Casanova from one such cell.

    On the day we visited, we entered the Palace on the Riva side, and there was no waiting! After paying the rather high price of Euro 14 each (2011 price), we visited the first room which contained beautiful brick-exposed walls with many remnants of various types of column and tracery. The many rooms, gallerias, courtyards, prison cells all told the tale of past doges and the men who were responsible for the Venetian government and much of its history.

    While we spent an hour or more here, I could easily have spent at least an additional hour or more, and if fortunate enough to follow a tour group and guide, a visit here would be even better.

    There is a very decent gift shop available at the end of your visit, and if you could not absorb all the history in one visit, there are some excellent books available for later study.

    From 1st November to 31th March
    9am - 6pm (ticket-office 9am - 5pm)

    From 1st April to 31st October
    9am - 7pm (ticket-office 9am - 6pm)

    Closed on 25th December and 1st January

    To purchase tickets in advance, visit: tickitaly.com

    NOTE: The Secret Itinerary Tour is not included in the standard price of admission.

    More to follow.

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  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo

    Inside the Doge's Palace

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    Giants
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    Awed as you might be by the exterior of the Doge's Palace, you'll be amazed by the interior. The entrance is on the southern side of the building opposite the waterfront. Admission is steep at €16 and a further €5 for the audioguide but you'll regret it if you don't do it. The audioguide is worth getting too. Unlike many English language audioguides in Italy it's actually quite engaging and enjoyable. Once you've paid your admission and got your audioguide you pass into the courtyard which you will see has yet more delightful architecture all around you. The centre of attention is going to be the Giants' Staircase , built in the late 15th century this is the staircase at the top of which the Doge's were crowned with the zogia . On either side of the staircase are the Giants , statues of Mars and Neptune.

    Once you are ready to leave the courtyard you have to check in your bags at the cloakroom and you won't be able to take any more photos until you leave the building and return to the courtyard.

    Once you proceed upstairs there are some lovely views back down to the courtyard from the first floor (2nd floor if you are American!) loggia. Then you head up the Golden Staircase (Scala d'Oro) which gets it's name from the sumptuous stucco vault above it. This staircase takes you to the Doge's private appartments. The tour of the appartments takes you from one sumptuous (but unfurnished) room to the next. My favourite was the Sala dello Scudo or Map Room. The picture gallery includes some interesting demon filled works by Hieronymous Bosch.

    Back to the Golden Staircase and you proceed up again to the council chambers and other rooms that were used by the apparatus of the administration of the Serene Republic of Venice. Some of these rooms make those downstairs now look like they are plain and relatively undecorated! These rooms include the Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci or meeting room of the all powerful Council of Ten, which was established in 1310 to investigate and prosecute crimes concerning the state.

    The tour then guides you back down a floor and to the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, the hall of the Great Council. The size of this room is amazing and in fact was the largest room without columns to support the ceiling in Europe at the time of it's construction. Around the top of the room are portraits of the Doge's. There is one missing where a vail is instead painted over the place where a portrait would otherwise have been and this is the place of Marin Falier who was beheaded in 1355 for treason against the Venetian Republic.

    After the Great Council chamber a series of passageways will take you to the prisons and across the famous Ponte dei Sospiri or Bridge of Sighs which leads from the palace to the so called new prisons built in the second half of the 16th century. The conditions here were inhuman and in such stark contrast to the lavishness of the Palace rooms.

    You should leave at least a couple of hours to enjoy the palace properly.

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  • zadunajska8's Profile Photo

    Doge's Palace - Exterior

    by zadunajska8 Updated Feb 12, 2012

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    Doge
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    The Doge's Palace or Palazzo Ducale is probably the biggest of Venice's attractions and was certainly my favourite. The exterior is stunningly beautiful. The white and pink Verona marble facade perched on top of lacey stonework and Istrian columns is something that will stick in the memory. Perhaps it's because it looks the wrong way up that it is so impressive? It looks lighter at the bottom than the top, which makes it look, well, sort of special.

    On the southeast corner (by the Ponte della Paglia, which leads to the Riva degli Schiavoni) is a 15th century sculpture of the "Drunkenness of Noah" symbolic of the frailty of man. At the southwest corner is another sculture of "Adam and Eve" shown with a serpent.

    The Palace started as a fortified castle in the 9th century but this (and a number of subsequent ones) was destroyed by fire. The palace you can see today owes it's appearance to the work done during the 14th and 15th centuries. The entrance to see the inside is on the quayside.

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Doges Palace

    by spidermiss Updated Jul 24, 2011

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    Doges Palace, Venice
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    This 15th Century gothic palace is known as the Palazzo Ducale and was the official residence of the Venetian Republic and housed civic functions. It's promient position looks out to the lagoon and Piazza San Marco.

    The palace was designed by Filippo Calendario and was built between 1309 to 1424. Following a fire damage during the late 16th Century, it was rebuilt with Renaissance influnces and the palace is linked to the prison via the Bridge of Sighs.

    Today it is a museum (part of the Venice Museums Network) where there are a lot of artefacts and paintings linking to the Venetian past. Because of the long queues we didn't go in but you can find out further information on their website

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    A visit to the Palazzo Ducale

    by Jefie Updated Aug 26, 2010

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    Palazzo Ducale di Venezia
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    The Doge's Palace, or Palazzo Ducale, is one of Venice's most easily recognizable buildings. This Gothic-style palazzo dates back to the 14th century, and until Napoleon conquered the city in 1797, it served as the official residence of the doges who ruled over the Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. The city's courtroom, government offices as well as a prison could also be found at the palace, which became a museum in 1923. A visit to the Palazzo Ducale includes a self-guided tour of the doge's private appartments, the government chambers, the spooky prison (reached by walking across the famous "Bridge of Sighs") and the Museo dell'Opera, where you'll find the palace's original statues and columns, among other things. I thought there was a really nice mix of art, architecture and history, and there's enough to keep you busy for well over an hour!

    Tickets to the Palazzo Ducale cost 13 Euros and they give access to all the museums located on Piazza San Marco. There's also a museum pass available for 18 Euros that includes a few more art museums in the city - that's the one we got, and I thought it was worth it. I'd recommend buying it at one of the less popular museums (we got ours at Ca' Pesaro), that way when you show up at the Palazzo Ducale you can skip the huge line of people waiting to buy tickets! There's also a guided tour available for 18 Euros called "Secret Itineraries" that takes you into rooms that are off limits to other visitors, but to go on that tour you need to book several days, sometimes weeks in advance. I didn't get to do it so I can't comment on it but it's supposed to be very interesting... maybe next time!

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