Venice Doge's Palace
A gothic masterpiece, Doge's Palace is a giant edifice of layered structural and ornamental elements: centuries-old foundations, fourteenth/fifteenth-esque century timings, renaissance-style cupolas, sumptuous Manneristic imprints.
It is made of three main bodies that have brought in and blended the preceding constructions:
- The wing facing St Mark's basin contains the Sala del Maggior Consiglio and is the oldest part of the building, dating back to 1340;
- The wing facing the square (Palazzo di Giustizia) houses the Sala dello Scrutinio, and dates back to 1424
- on the facing side - built between 1483 and 1565 - is the renaissance wing with the doge's residence and many government offices.
The public entrance of Doge's Palace is found beneath the arcade of thirteenth-century facade that overlooks St Mark's basin. The entrance is called Porta del Frumento or the 'Corn Door' as it is next to the 'Crops office'. On the ground floor is the Opera Museum and also the doge's kitchens which today house a coffee shop and temporary exhibitions.
Walk towards the upper halls and you'll pass through a magnificent courtyard. On the first floor, continue with the Piano delle Logge and a viewing of the delightful rooms of the Doge's apartment and the Stanze Istituzionali (ministerial chambers). Finally, don't forget to visit the Armoury and Prison cells. These are the itineraries suggested by the museum. They do not necessarily follow the palazzo's floors and may instead weave around and across the palazzo. The numbering of the rooms here follow the same order. There are also 'secret itineraries' which are not part of the normal routes around the palazzo but which nevertheless can be partly visited