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

Latest posts

Venice: The legend of the Engraved Heart of the Scuola Grande di San Marco

cuore-scuola-scuola-grande-san-marco
Mysteries & Legends

In the age-old stones of Venice lie incredible stories, fascinating legends and forgotten memories that are nestled in every corner of ...

View

Venice: The invention of glasses in Venice

occhiali
Historical Curiosities

The first glasses in history were shaped in one of the most famous islands of the Venetian lagoon, the island of Murano, where in 1100,...

View

Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

spritz-veneziano
Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....

View

Venice: The Camel’s House in the Cannaregio district

palazzo-mastelli
Historical Curiosities

If you take a walk in the Cannaregio district you might come across a camel, clearly not a camel in the flesh, but one depicted in a pa...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Padua: St George’s Oratory

oratorio-san-giorgio-padova
Unknown places & works

Padua is famous all over the world for the Scrovegni Chapel, frescoed with incredible skill by the great painter Giotto at the beginnin...

View

Verona: Juliet’s balcony in Verona

balcone-giulietta-verona
Big Names

When visiting the beautiful city of Verona, Casa di Giulietta - the house of Juliet, the character immortalized by William Shakespeare ...

View

Venice: Attila's throne in the Isle of Torcello in Venice

Trono_Attila
Mysteries & Legends

Torcello, the first Venice island to be inhabited, is rich of legends and interesting stories, such as Attila – the King of the Huns ...

View