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

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Venice: The island of Saint Francis of the Desert in the Venice lagoon

San-Francesco-del-Deserto
Unknown places & works

If you are looking for a place to meditate, away from clamour, St. Francis of the Desert is an island that is right up your street! The...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View