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Venice - An Angelic Presence on the Doge's Palace Roof!

The Doge's Palace (Italian: Palazzo Ducale) is a gothic palace, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice, northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, opening as a museum in 1923. Today it is one of the 11 museums of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia system. In 2010 it was visited by 1.358.186 people.

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 traces 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 (1172-1178). A great reformer, he would drastically change the entire layout of the St. Mark's Square. The new palace was built out of fortresses, one façade to the Piazzeta, the other overlooking the St. Mark's Basin.

 

Although only few traces remain of that palace, some Byzantine-Venetian architecture characteristics can still be seen at the ground floor, with the wall base in Istrian stone and some herring-bone-pattern brick paving. Political changes in the mid-13th century led to the need to re-think the palace's structure due to the considerable increase in the number of the Great Council's members. The new Gothic palace's constructions started around 1340, focusing moslty on the side of the building facing the lagoon. Only in 1424, did Doge Francesco Foscari decide to extend the rebuilding works to the wing overlooking the Piazzetta, serving as law-courts, and with a ground floor arcade on the outside, open first floor loggias running along the façade, and the internal courtyard side of the wing, completed with the construction of the Porta della Carta (1442). In 1483, a violent fire broke out in the side of the palace overlooking the canal, where the Doge's Apartments were. Once again, an important reconstruction became necessary and was comissioned from Antonio Rizzo, who would introduce the new Renaissance language to the building's architecture.

 

An entire new structure was raised alongside the canal, stretching from the ponte della Canonica to the Ponte della Paglia, with the official rooms of the government decorated with works comissioned from Vittore Carpaccio, Giorgione, Alvise Vivarini and Giovanni Bellini. Another huge fire in 1547 destroyed some of the rooms on the second floor, but fortunately without undermining the structure as a whole. Reurbishment works were being held at the palace when on 1577 a third fire destroyed the Scrutinio Room and the Great Council Chamber, together with works by Gentile da Fabriano, Pisanello, Alvise Vivarini, Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, Pordenone, and Titian. In the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative designs by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison by the Bridge of Sighs. 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 subejcted first to French rule, then to Austrian, and finally in 1866 it became part of Italy.

 

Over this period, the palace as occupied by various administrative offices as well as housing the Biblioteca Marciana and other important cultural institutions within the city. By the end of the 19th century, the structure was showing clear signs of decay, and the Italian government set aside significant funds for its restoration and all public offices were moved elsewhere, with the exception of the State Office for the protection of historical Monuments, which is still housed at the palace's loggia floor. In 1923, the Italian State, owner of the building, entrusted the management to the Venetian municipality to be run as a museum. Since 1996, the Doge’s Palace has been part of the Venetian museums network, which comes under the management of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia since 2008.

 

For more information please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doge%27s_Palace,_Venice

 

Venice (Italian: Venezia [veˈnɛttsja] ( listen), Venetian: Venexia [veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeast Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) (population 1,600,000).

 

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

 

The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers.

 

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

 

Please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice for further information...

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Taken on October 4, 2011