The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of ConstantinopleBig Names
The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople
The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, who, in eleven centuries have shaped the history of Venice.
One of the Doges who left more memories is definitely Enrico Dandolo: according to tradition, he was elected to the total charge of the Venetian Republic in 1192, when he had already reached the venerable age of 85.
He had the merit (or shame?) to have convinced the Crusaders, who had gathered in Venice to liberate the Holy Land from the infidels, to divert their efforts on another target: Constantinople.
The conquest of Constantinople marked the culmination of Venetian power; ships brought back to Venice an incredible booty, including the Bronze Horses, now preserved in San Mark's Basilica.
But what happened to Enrico Dandolo? At 92 years old, blind, he personally commanded the Venetian fleet to the conquest of Constantinople... He died in 1205 due to necrosis and was buried in the women's gallery in the gallery of the Basilica of Saint Sophia, one of the places reserved for the imperial family. He was the first and last man to be buried in the great basilica.
According to tradition, after the conquest of the city by the Turks in 1453, his tomb was opened and his bones were thrown to the dogs. The plaque bearing the inscription 'Henricus Dandolo' still stands in the Sophia Museum. Recent studies identified it as a fake tombstone in the 1800s, positioned there by the Italian architect Gaspare Forlati.
Among the best known pieces of the booty brought to Venice from Constantinople there are precisely the bronze horses kept in St Mark's Basilica. The horses outside the Basilica, to the loggia, are just copies. The original bronze horses are kept in St Mark's Museum, that can be visited buying the ticket directly in the basilica or with our charming tour St Mark's Museum and Cathedral from above.
Venice: The reredos of the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice
Unknown places & works
When visiting the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice - perhaps one of the most significant monuments of the lagoon city - one is alwa...View
Vicenza: The Odeon cinema in Vicenza, one of the oldest in the world
Perhaps not everyone knows that in Vicenza there is one of the oldest cinemas in the world, still open today! Originally the hall was a...View
Venice: The bells of St. Mark’s Bell Tower in Venice
St Mark’s Bell Tower in St. Mark's Square is one of the symbols of Venice, but not everyone knows that the original building collapse...View
Venice: The Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Doge's daughter
Mysteries & Legends
There are many stories and legends related to the famous Rialto bridge on the Grand Canal in Venice, but few people know the one that h...View
Venice: The Doge Enrico Dandolo and the conquest of Constantinople
The history of the Venetian Republic was inextricably linked to the Doge's charismatic personality, but also adventurers and traitors, ...View
Venice: The three wellheads of the San Trovaso Church
In the charming Dorsoduro district in Venice, there is the ancient church of Saints Gervasio and Protasio, called San Trovaso in Veneti...View