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: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

vf1
Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...

View

Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

canzoni-ve
Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...

View

Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

vò
Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...

View

Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

10_film_venezia
Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View