The doges palace the symbol of the Venetian republic

The doges palace the symbol of the Venetian republic

The doges palace the symbol of the Venetian republic

The Doge’s Palace, also known as the Palazzo Ducale, is a Gothic-style palace located in Venice, Italy, on the Piazza San Marco. It was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the highest authority in the former Republic of Venice, and also housed the government offices and courts of justice. The palace was first constructed in the 9th century, but was later rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The palace is an impressive example of Venetian Gothic architecture, with its pink and white marble façade, intricate stone carvings, and ornate arches. It features a large central courtyard, known as the Courtyard of the Doge’s Palace, which is surrounded by four porticoes with arches and columns. The palace is also home to several grand halls, including the Hall of the Great Council, which was once the largest room in Europe and could hold up to 2,500 people. It was here that the Doge was elected and where the Venetian Senate and Council of Ten met.

One of the most famous features of the Doge’s Palace is the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the palace to the adjacent prison. The bridge was so named because it was believed that prisoners would sigh as they crossed it, knowing that they were leaving the light and air of the palace for the darkness and damp of the cells.

Today, the Doge’s Palace is open to visitors as a museum, and it is a popular tourist attraction in Venice. Its collection includes paintings by Venetian artists such as Tintoretto and Veronese, as well as historical artifacts, weapons, and armor. Visitors can also explore the palace’s grand halls and admire its stunning architecture and decorations.

Overall, the Doge’s Palace is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Venice, as it offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of this fascinating city.

The prisons of the doges palace 

Venice had several prisons throughout its history, but one of the most famous and well-known is the prison located in the Doge’s Palace, known as the “Piombi” or “Leads” due to the lead roof covering the building. This prison was used to hold political prisoners and was notorious for its harsh conditions.

The cells in the Piombi were small, dark, and often overcrowded, with poor ventilation and little natural light. Prisoners were often held in isolation, with little access to food or water. Many prisoners were subjected to torture and interrogation, and some were executed.

Another famous prison in Venice is the “Prigioni Nuove” or “New Prisons,” which were built in the 16th century on the other side of the Rio di Palazzo canal, opposite the Doge’s Palace. These prisons were used to hold common criminals and were also known for their harsh conditions.

The New Prisons were designed by architect Antonio da Ponte and are now part of the Correr Museum complex. Visitors can tour the prisons and see the cells where prisoners were held, as well as examples of the instruments of torture used during interrogations.

Casanova’s prison escape

Giacomo Casanova, a famous Italian adventurer, writer, and womanizer, was imprisoned in the Doge’s Palace in 1755 for his involvement in a scandalous affair. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but he managed to escape after just over a year.

Casanova’s escape from prison is one of the most famous events in his life. He was initially held in a cell on the ground floor of the prison, but he was later moved to a cell on the upper floor, which was considered more secure.

Casanova’s escape plan involved a fellow prisoner named Father Balbi, who was a trained locksmith. Balbi was able to fashion a set of duplicate keys that allowed Casanova to unlock the doors to his cell and the adjoining room, which was unoccupied.

Casanova and Balbi then climbed through a window into the attic of the prison, where they made their way across the roof and down a drainpipe to a courtyard below. From there, they scaled a wall and made their way to the nearby church of San Samuele, where Casanova was able to change into civilian clothes and make his escape.

Casanova fled Venice and spent the next several years traveling throughout Europe, writing about his adventures and engaging in various escapades. He eventually returned to Venice and was pardoned by the government in 1774, after which he resumed his writing and literary pursuits.

Who was the doge 

The Doge was the highest authority of the Republic of Venice, which was a sovereign state in northeastern Italy from the 7th century until the late 18th century. The Doge was elected by the Great Council, which was made up of aristocrats and wealthy merchants, and was the head of the Venetian government and state.

The Doge was responsible for leading the Republic of Venice and making decisions on matters such as foreign policy, trade, and defense. The position of Doge was initially appointed for life, but from the late 13th century onward, the Doge was elected for a term of ten years.

The Doge lived in the Doge’s Palace, which was the official residence of the Venetian ruler. The palace was also the seat of the government and the center of political life in Venice.

Over the centuries, the position of Doge became increasingly ceremonial, and the powers of the office were gradually reduced. The last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin, abdicated in 1797 when the Republic of Venice was dissolved by Napoleon Bonaparte.

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