Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Italy Blog #13: Venice: Doge's Palace: Purpose, Roman Gods, Gilded Stairways, Hall of Justice

The Doge's Palace
In this 13th blog of our Italy trip we're going to take you into the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace) and look around. Appropriately, the Doge's palace was built in the 1300s- perfect for the 13th blog. It was finalized in the year 1309.


You need to know some basics though- like what is a "Doge." Although we started calling our dogs "Do-jay" when we came home, it's not a dog. :) 

WHAT IS A DOGE?  A doge was an elected, chief-of-state lordship, the ruler of the republic in many of the Italian city-states during the medieval and renaissance periods, in the Italian "crowned republics".
    The two best known such republics were Venice and Genoa, which rivaled each other, and the other regional great powers, by building their historical city-states into maritime, commercial, and territorial mini-empires. The last doge lived in Venice in 1797.

Mars (left) and Neptune (right) statues in Doges Palace
ARCHITECTURAL NOTE - The Doge's Palace is a palace built in Venetian Gothic style.
WHAT WAS HOUSED HERE? - This building was the seat of government, and included court rooms, dungeons, torture chambers and the "Hall of Dead Doges." It also is connected to the famous "Bridge of Sighs" which we will talk about in a future blog.  

AWESOME ROMAN GOD STATUES- Rob loves Roman gods and at the top of the stairs after entering are statues of Mars (left) and Neptune (right). We had to stop for a picture of them. They represented the Doge's strength over land and sea.

THE GILDED STAIRWAY - As you go from the first to the second floor, you climb what is called the "Gilded Stairway." The ceiling of the staircase is entirely done in gold.

WHAT IS THE PALACE'S "HALL OF THE COUNCIL OF TEN"? - (Consiglio dei dieci). According to Italyguides.it, Here, during a trial, no-one could enter, not even the accused. The trial took place by reading statements of both the defense and accused and decisions were made by a vote that had to be an 80% majority. There were 10 members (all men) chosen from the Senate and elected by the Great Council who sat with the Doge and his six counselors. When you go in the room, you'll see 17 semicircular outlines of seats (that adds up to all those people).

The assembly was made up of ten members chosen from the Senate and elected by the Great Council. These ten sat in council with the Doge and his six counselors, which accounts for the 17 semicircular outlines that one can still see in the chamber.

http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/the-museum/layout-and-collections/institutional-chambers/second-floor/
The assembly was made up of ten members chosen from the Senate and elected by the Great Council. These ten sat in council with the Doge and his six counselors, which accounts for the 17 semicircular outlines that one can still see in the chamber.

http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/the-museum/layout-and-collections/institutional-chambers/second-floor/
The assembly was made up of ten members chosen from the Senate and elected by the Great Council. These ten sat in council with the Doge and his six counselors, which accounts for the 17 semicircular outlines that one can still see in the chamber

http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/the-museum/layout-and-collections/institutional-chambers/second-floor/
The assembly was made up of ten members chosen from the Senate and elected by the Great Council. These ten sat in council with the Doge and his six counselors, which accounts for the 17 semicircular outlines that one can still see in the chamber

http://palazzoducale.visitmuve.it/en/the-museum/layout-and-collections/institutional-chambers/second-floor/
Hall of the Council of 10
the box
THE BOX - In the wall of the room, there was a little door that opened into a "drop box." That box was connected to a slit in the wall of the adjacent room. People could accuse anyone of anything and put their name and the charge on paper and drop it in that box. The council would then take action and bring the accused and the accuser in to determine truth of fiction about the charges.
An elaborate ceiling painting

Another Gilded ceiling
GILDED CEILINGS - There was a lot of wealth in this palace. To go through all the paintings and cover all the gilded rooms would take a long time, so trust us when we say it was a lot! 





Sala del Maggior Consiglio
A LOOK AT 1 BIG ROOM:  The Sala del Maggior Consiglio -  is the great hall where the Great Council, an unelected voting body of all noble men of at least 25 years of age, would convene. This room was completely destroyed by fire in 1577 but was rebuilt with lavish details between 1578 and 1594. It contains an incredible gilded ceiling, which has panels depicting the glories of the Venetian Republic, and walls are painted with portraits of the Doges and frescoes by the likes of Tintoretto, Veronese, and Bella.






NEXT: DESCENT TO THE DOGE'S PRISON AND BRIDGE OF SIGHS

 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next