Doge's Palace

Next to the magnificent Basilica of St.Mark is located the historic center of political power in Venice and one of the most recognizable motifs of La Serenissima - the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale).

About Doge's Palace

At this place, at the beginning of the 9th century, initially was a building that looked more like a fortress with its high towers and defensive walls. After it was destroyed by fire, a reconstruction followed, but the new fire happened in the 10th century and damaged the renovated building. It is not known exactly how it looked like, but it is assumed that the model used in the construction of it was Diocletian's Palace in Split.

In the next period, Doge's Palace has undergone many changes and the most important work took place during the 14th century, when it got its present form. Striking seat of the Venetian government should reflect the power and wealth of the Republic. It was a time when Venice was at the peak - after Paris, it was the most populous European city, probably the richest city in the world and the center of world trade.

Doge's Palace had several functions throughout the history. First of all, it was the seat of the Venetian government - place for the sessions of the Government (various Councils) and the residence of a ruler, the Doge. Also, there were placed the courts and the prison, which was later moved to the other side of the Bridge of Sighs.

The building represents the best Stihl Venetian Gothic style, which is actually a mixture of Gothic, Byzantine art and Maori influences from Spain. You will notice the influence of the Renaissance, but it is interesting how the Gothic in Venice is still the dominant style, although the Renaissance was spreading rapidly around Apennine Peninsula. The reason for this is great exposure to cultural influences from Eastern countries with which Venice was trading, which led to a unique style - the aforementioned Venetian Gothic. The interior of palace is equally beautiful, some of the greatest artists such as Titian and Tintoretto left their work there.

In ‘Sala dello Scudo’ hall on the walls are painted maps that show then known world to Europeans. Many of them showed the research and discoveries of Marco Polo, the famous adventurer, who is assumed to originate from Croatian Korcula.

After the Venetian 'golden' period, works on the Ducal Palace were much less common, and the only changes that happened are above-mentioned: resettlement of prisons in the new building, which is connected to the Palace by the Bridge of Sighs. It happened at the turn of the 16th to the 17th century.

Finally, with fall of Venice in 1797, the Palazzo Ducale lost its centuries-old role as a political center. Since then it was used for various administrative offices, and was also home to some important cultural institutions. In 1923, according to the decision of the Italian Government, it finally became a museum open to the public, a role it has today as well.

Tickets

Opening hours and ticket prices vary depending on which of the two periods you visit the Palace.

The first period runs from November 1st until March 31st. Opening hours are from 9h to 18h and the fare is £8.70. Students and other special groups, eg. people older than 65 years, have a discount, and they pay £4.72 to get in. The ticket is valid for the following museums: Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Sale della Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. Mentioned museums, with the Ducal Palace, are a group called the Museums of Square of St. Mark. The second period runs from 1st April to October 31st. Opening hours are from 9h to 19h and the fare is slightly higher - £9.40.

Through Venice Connected system you can buy so-called, afternoon ticket (Speciale pomeridiano, Afternoon ticket). The ticket allows you one entrance to each museum of St. Mark’s Square, and can be used in the period from 13h to 16h and from 15h to 18h, depending on the seasons. The price is £7.25, while rates for the groups of visitors - £3.26.

Related blog posts

Photos of Doge's Palace