The Doges Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice in northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the authority of the former Republic of Venice. Today, it is one of the 11 museums run by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. In 810, Doge Angelo Partecipazio moved the seat of government from the island of Malamocco to the area of the present-day Rialto, when it was decided a palatium duci, a ducal palace, should be built. However, no remains of that 9th-century building as the palace was partially destroyed in the 10th century by a fire. The following reconstruction works were undertaken at the behest of Doge Sebastiano Ziani, a great reformer, he would drastically change the entire layout of the St. The new palace was built out of fortresses, one façade to the Piazzetta, political changes in the mid-13th century led to the need to re-think the palaces structure due to the considerable increase in the number of the Great Councils members. The new Gothic palaces constructions started around 1340, focusing mostly on the side of the building facing the lagoon, in 1483, a violent fire broke out in the side of the palace overlooking the canal, where the Doges Apartments were. Once again, an important reconstruction became necessary and was commissioned from Antonio Rizzo, another huge fire in 1547 destroyed some of the rooms on the second floor, but fortunately without undermining the structure as a whole. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, as well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797, when its role inevitably changed. Venice was subjected first to French rule, then to Austrian, over this period, the palace was occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana and other important cultural institutions within the city. In 1923, the Italian State, owner of the building, since 1996, the Doge’s Palace has been part of the Venetian museums network, which has been under the management of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia since 2008. The ground floor arcade and the loggia above are decorated with 14th- and 15th-century capitals, in 1438–1442, Giovanni Bon and Bartolomeo Bon built and adorned the Porta della Carta, which served as the ceremonial entrance to the building. In the space above the cornice, there is a portrait of the Doge Francesco Foscari kneeling before the St. This is, however, a 19th-century work by Luigi Ferrari, nowadays, the public entrance to the Doges Palace is via the Porta del Frumento, on the waterfront side of the building. The north side of the courtyard is closed by the junction between the palace and St, mark’s Basilica, which used to be the Doge’s chapel. At the center of the courtyard stand two well-heads dating from the mid-16th century, in 1485, the Great Council decided that a ceremonial staircase should be built within the courtyard. Since 1567, the Giants’ Staircase is guarded by Sansovino’s two colossal statues of Mars and Neptune, which represents Venice’s power by land and by sea, members of the Senate gathered before government meetings in the Senator’s Courtyard, to the right of the Giants’ Staircase
Image: Photograph of of the Doges Palace in Venice
Drawing of the Doge's Palace, late 14th century
Facing the Grand Canal on the Piazzetta San Marco, with Doge's Palace on the left.
Palazzo Ducale, south colonnade, Venice, Italy. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection