Hidden treasures

The incredible capitals of the Doge's Palace in Venice

Unknown places & works
capitelli_ducale

The incredible capitals of the Doge's Palace in Venice

Every year millions of visitors admire the masterpieces of the Doge's Palace , the symbol of the importance of the Venetian Republic. But, perhaps not everyone notices the incredible capitals that decorate the outer walls of this impressive building.

There are more than 600 images, carved in Istrian stone dating between 1340 and 1355 by the workshops of the magisters Enrico and Pietro Baseggio. They are allegorical figures symbolizing the good government and the strength of the Republic in a world governed by divine grandeur. An encyclopaedia of images that invites every man to cultivate Wisdom, Justice and Prayer as a means to achieve salvation.

The angular capitals are larger and represent biblical scenes (The original sin, the drunkenness of Noah, the Judgment of Solomon), to emphasize that the Government of the Republic was based on the Christian faith; the 113 capitals of the porch (42 of these were replaced with copies at the end of 1800s) instead represent aspects of everyday life: there is, for example, the capital with the birds of prey, which according to medieval symbolism represented the sensitive life; those with the people of the world, different because they were influenced by the stars; there also were the seven deadly sins and the Christian virtues, the 12 zodiac signs with the corresponding planets and finally ... even stonemasons at work and baskets of fruit!

The explanation of these fascinating depictions are included in our Venice for kids tour! Symbols, real and fanciful figures with hidden meanings, ... An excellent solution to engage and excite both young and old in the discovery of Venice! Ask for Francesca's availability and experience with her one of the original guided tours offered in our brand new tour for children!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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