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: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

sarde-saor
Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...

View

Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Dolo
Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...

View

Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

san-simeone-piccolo-venezia
Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...

View

Vicenza: The legend of the Dwarves of Villa Valmarana ai Nani

Villa_Valmarana_ai_Nani
Mysteries & Legends

Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza, Italy, is one of the best known and most visited villas in the Veneto region thanks to the frescoes...

View

Top posts

Treviso: The Jewish cemetery in Conegliano

cimitero-conegliano
Unknown places & works

Not everyone knows that the city of Conegliano was once home to one of the most important Jewish communities in the Veneto region, both...

View

Belluno: Tiziano Vecellio’s birthplace in Pieve di Cadore

casa-tiziano-pieve
Big Names

In the heart of the UNESCO-enlisted Dolomites, there is a small, picturesque village: Pieve di Cadore. It is a special place for the hi...

View

Vicenza: The Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa

Ponte-degli-Alpini-Bassano
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about bridges, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa, in the Province ...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View