Monthly Archives: January 2012
Though Venice has no dearth of tourist attractions, one of the must see sights here is the exotic Doge’s Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale. Standing between the lagoon and Piazza San Marco, the palace has been rebuilt and modified a number of times, though a major portion of it can be dated back to 15th century. The building is often termed as an oversized wedding cake owing to the fact that it has been built in a dazzling pink and white marble design.
The palace was originally the residence of the Doge – or chief magistrate – until the fall of the Venetian Empire in 1797. The interiors of the buildings are a pleasant sight to the eyes due to their intricate and ornate decoration and ranking the top position among all the rooms in the palace is the huge Grand Council Chamber – in which over 2000 people routinely used to meet at one time. This chamber takes pride in its wall paintings which include portraits of the 76 Doges that have ruled Venice over the years. One of the portraits is that of the Doge Marin Faliero who was accused of treason and beheaded in 1355. To this day, his portrait is still covered with a black cloth. Also worth noticing is the huge painting called Paradise by the artist Tintoretto – supposedly the world’s largest oil canvas.
Another remarkable room is the Senate Chamber where the senate met regularly to pass laws. This room has another painting from Tintoretto– The Triumph of Venice, painted on the ceiling.
The Giant’s Staircase of the palace has two huge statues of Neptune and Mars situated at the top of the stairs – symbolizing the state’s control over both sea and land. The romantic Bridge of Sighs links the palace to the nearby prison.
The recommended way to visit the palace is to take the Secret Itineraries guided tour, which takes the visitors through many secrets of this remarkable palace like the secret rooms, hidden passageways and the torture chamber.