Doge's Palace

Doge's Palace

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The Doge's Palace is a gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

, northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice
Doge of Venice
The Doge of Venice , often mistranslated Duke was the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. Commonly the person selected as Doge was the shrewdest elder in the city...

, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

.

Its two most visible façades look towards the Venetian Lagoon
Venetian Lagoon
The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Venetian language, Laguna Veneta— cognate of Latin lacus, "lake"— has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of saltwater, a lagoon.The Venetian Lagoon...

 and St. Mark's Square, or rather the Piazzetta. The use of arcading in the lower stories produces an interesting "gravity-defying" effect. There is also effective use of colour contrasts.

History



The current palace was largely constructed from 1309 to 1424, designed perhaps by Filippo Calendario
Filippo Calendario
Filippo Calendario was an architect, a designer of the 14th century Doge's Palace, Venice. He was executed for treason.-Design of Doge's Palace:...

. It replaced earlier fortified buildings of which relatively little is known. Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon
Bartolomeo Bon
Bartolomeo Bon was an Italian sculptor and architect from Campione d'Italia.Together with his father Giovanni, he worked in Venice: they finished the decoration of the famous Gothic Ca' d'Oro and the marble door of the Basilica di Santa Maria dei Frari...

 created the Porta della Carta in 1442, a monumental late-gothic gate on the Piazzetta side of the palace. This gate leads to a central courtyard.

The palace was badly damaged by a fire on December 20, 1577. In the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative design by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio was an architect active in the Republic of Venice. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius, is widely considered the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture...

. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison
Piombi
Piombi is a former prison in the Doge's Palace in Venice. The name of the prison refers to its position directly under the roof of the palace, which was covered with slabs of lead...

 by the Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is a bridge in Venice, northern Italy . The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace...

.

As well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797. Venice was ruled by an aristocratic elite, but there was a facility for citizens to submit written complaints at what was known as the Bussola chamber.

The palazzo's principal function was to provide a space for the government to carry out its civic responsibilities to its people. The doge did, in fact, reside in the palazzo, however, he held no real power and was a representative figurehead for the Republic.

The building is preserved as a museum. Inside are housed paintings by Tintoretto
Tintoretto
Tintoretto , real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso...

 and Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi...

.

The Old Prisons


The court and the prisons were originally in the Doge's Palace. Prison cells were in the Pozzi (the wells) and in the Piombi
Piombi
Piombi is a former prison in the Doge's Palace in Venice. The name of the prison refers to its position directly under the roof of the palace, which was covered with slabs of lead...

(the leads). Cells in the Pozzi which were crowded, stuffy, and infested with insects. Cells in the Piombi, directly under the palace's conductive lead roof, were very hot in summer and very cold in winter.

A famous inmate of the Piombi was Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

, who escaped through the roof, re-entered the palace, and was let out.

The New Prison was built across the Rio de Palazzo from the palace. It was connected to the palace by the Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
The Bridge of Sighs is a bridge in Venice, northern Italy . The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace...

.

Romania


The Central rail station
Iasi railway station
Iaşi railway station is the main railway station in Iaşi and one of the oldest in Romania. It is part of the Pan-European Corridor IX.-History:...

, in Iași
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

, built in 1870, had as a model the architecture of the Doge's Palace. On the central part, there is a loggia
Loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

with five arcades and pillars made of curved stone, having at the top three ogives.

United Kingdom



There are a number of nineteenth-century imitations of the palace's architecture in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, e.g. the Wool Exchange, Bradford
Wool Exchange, Bradford
The Wool Exchange Building in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England is a grade I-listed building built as a wool-trading centre in the 19th century. The grandeur of its Gothic Revival architecture is symbolic of the wealth and importance that wool brought to Bradford...

, the Wedgwood Institute
Wedgwood Institute
The Wedgwood Institute is a large red-brick building that stands in Queen Street, in the town of Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England...

, Burslem
Burslem
The town of Burslem, known as the Mother Town, is one of the six towns that amalgamated to form the current city of Stoke-on-Trent, in the ceremonial county of Staffordshire, in the Midlands of England.-Topography:...

, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery on Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. It holds the national collections of portraits, all of which are of, but not necessarily by, Scots. In addition it also holds the Scottish National Photography Collection...

, Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 and Templeton's Carpet Factory
Templeton On The Green
Templeton On The Green, also known as Templeton Business Centre, is a distinctive building near the People's Palace, in Glasgow, Scotland.The building was designed and built as a carpet factory for James Templeton and Son....

 in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

. These revivals of Venetian Gothic
Venetian Gothic architecture
Venetian Gothic is a term given to an architectural style combining use of the Gothic lancet arch with Byzantine and Moorish architecture influences. The style originated in 14th century Venice with the confluence of Byzantine styles from Constantinople, Arab influences from Moorish Spain and early...

 were influenced by the theories of John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

, author of the three-volume The Stones of Venice
The Stones of Venice (book)
The Stones of Venice is a three-volume treatise on Venetian art and architecture by English art historian John Ruskin, first published from 1851 to 1853. Intending to prove how the architecture in Venice exemplified the principles he discussed in his earlier work, The Seven Lamps of Architecture,...

, which appeared in the 1850s.

Nineteenth-century imitations


The Montauk Club
Montauk Club
The Montauk Club is a private social club located at 25 Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood of New York City.The Club was founded in 1889 by prominent Brooklyn residents excited about Brooklyn's economic boom following the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Founding members...

 in Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope is a neighborhood in western Brooklyn, New York City's most populous borough. Park Slope is roughly bounded by Prospect Park West to the east, Fourth Avenue to the west, Flatbush Avenue to the north, and 15th Street to the south, though other definitions are sometimes offered. Generally...

 (1889) imitates elements of the palace's architecture, although the architect is usually said to have been inspired by another Venetian Gothic palace, the Ca' d'Oro
Ca' d'Oro
Ca' d'Oro is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palazzi, it has always been known as Ca' d'Oro due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.The Palazzo was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided...

.

The elaborate arched facade of the 1895 building of Congregation Ohabai Shalome in San Francisco is a copy in painted redwood of the Doge's Palace.

Twentieth-century imitations


The ornate gothic style of the Doge's Palace (and other similar palaces throughout Italy) was impressively replicated in the Hall of Doges at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington
Spokane, Washington
Spokane is a city located in the Northwestern United States in the state of Washington. It is the largest city of Spokane County of which it is also the county seat, and the metropolitan center of the Inland Northwest region...

 by architect Kirtland Cutter
Kirtland Cutter
Kirtland Kelsey Cutter was a 20th century architect in the Pacific Northwest and California. He was born in East Rockport, Ohio, as the great-grandson of Jared Potter Kirtland. He studied painting and illustration at the Art Students League of New York. At the age of 26 he moved to Spokane,...

.

The facade of the building is replicated at the Italy Pavilion
Italy (Epcot)
The Italy Pavilion is a part of the World Showcase within Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.-Layout:The Italian Pavilion features a plaza surrounded by a collection of buildings evocative of Venetian, Florentine, and Roman architecture. Venetian architecture is represented by a re-creation of...

 in Epcot
Epcot
Epcot is a theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely international culture and technological innovation. The second park built at the resort, it opened on October 1, 1982 and was initially named...

 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

.

Along with other Venetian landmarks, the palace is imitated in The Venetian, Las Vegas.

Twentyfirst-century imitations


The Doge's Palace was recreated and is playable in the 2009 video game, Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed II
Assassin's Creed II is a historical third-person action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It is the second video game installment of the Assassin's Creed series, and is a sequel to the 2007 video...

.

External links