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Palazzo Ducale - The Doge's Palace

The Doge was the highest official in the once Most Serene Republic of Venice; having total control of the city-state and its global empire for over 1,100 years

Doge's Palace

* And like most European royal families, the Doge lived in style!




Doge's Palace

* The Courtyard may as well have been the inspiration for King's Landing or Gondor with how majestic it looks. 

Doge's Palace

* Visiting the last of the Royal Homes during this amazing Royal Honeymoon Tour!

Doge's Palace

* Unlike their European neighbors whose power lay in the hands of Emperors, Kings, and Dukes, Venice's Doge was elected for life from among the city's aristocrat families

Doge's Palace

* Which meant that succession and power could change hands in every generation, often with the most shrewd and cunning families taking control of that era. 

Doge's Palace

* Nowhere to go but up! Past this gentleman on the left clubbing an animal.

Doge's Palace

* This Lion's Mouth postbox served as a way for citizens to anonymously report abuses and corruption of government officials. Innovative!

Doge's Palace

* Every piece of artwork in the Palace recounts the crazy wealth and prestige that Venice once held.

Doge's Palace

* Same location, different time. It was surreal seeing all these flashbacks to the past adorning each wall of the Palace.

Doge's Palace

* The Compass Room was dedicated to the administration of justice, and ironically not a single thing about direction.. as compasses do.

Doge's Palace

* The various paintings on the walls were meant to chronicle the history of the city-state.

Doge's Palace

* And serve as the Antechamber, or preparation room, for the HUGE Council Chamber.

Doge's Palace

* Remember when I said HUGE? The scale of this place is INSANE!

Doge's Palace

* Known as the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, the Chamber was the meeting place of the Great Council of Venice, which sort of resembles our modern-day Congress.

Doge's Palace

* Membership in this Great Council was passed on by heredity, and was exclusive to the aristocrat families enrolled in the Golden Book of Venetian Nobility. (Yes, that is actually a thing.)

Doge's Palace

* Can you imagine the arguments, debates, and merrymaking that once echoed within these walls.

Doge's Palace

* Tintoretto's Paradise stands resolute on the entire eastern wall. This is thought to be the largest painting ever done on canvas, a fact I wholeheartedly agree with. 




Doge's Palace

* As with any Palace, this one has a spooky dungeon!

Doge's Palace

* Making this area easily the most haunted one!

Doge's Palace

* A painting of what I infer to be the infamous Council of Ten, a secretive governing body in charge of maintaining the security of the Republic. Most probably an ancient version of S.H.I.E.L.D.... or Hydra?!

Doge's Palace

* View from the Scala dei Giganti (Giant's Staircase)

Doge's Palace

* A replica (or perhaps the original?!) statue of St. Theodore of Venice with his pet dragon!

Doge's Palace

* Flanked by Mars and Neptune, the Giant's Staircase symbolizes Venice's power over land (Mars) and sea (Neptune). DUH. 

Doge's Palace

* It was also here where the Doges were crowned, to the envy (?) of his rivals for this grand prize.

Doge's Palace

* Owing to Venice's unique situation of being a city built over a sinking archipelago, a phenomenon known as the Acqua alta occurs where whole areas of Venice are flooded depending on the tides.

Thus it is common to see numerous platforms, ready for deployment at any moment, around the area of the Piazza San Marco. 

Doge's Palace

* So what happened to the Doges? Napoleon Bonaparte did. After invading and conquering Venice, Napoleon forced the then Doge, Ludovico Manin to abdicate thus ending over a millennium of rule.

Doge's Palace

* As a bonus, this sculpture of the Four Tetrarchs stands sheepishly on one corner of the Doge's Palace; symbolizing Diocletian, Maximian, Constantius, and Valerian who ruled the Roman Empire as a team back in 300 AD. Why are they hugging? I have no idea.

Doge's Palace


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