Hidden treasures

Instruments of torture and prohibited weapons in the Armoury of the Doge's Palace in Venice

Unknown places & works
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Instruments of torture and prohibited weapons in the Armoury of the Doge's Palace in Venice

During a visit to the Doge's Palace in Venice you can also admire the rooms of the Armoury, which has an amazing collection of mixed weapons: swords, armour, crossbows, maces, axes, muskets, pistols and rifles.

In the last room there is a display case containing items considered rather special ... Notable among them are small and forbidden weapons, that were easy to conceal and originally belonged to Francesco Novello da Carrara, lord of Padua, who was defeated by the Venetians in 1405. The man, described by the Venetian chronicles as evil and treacherous, was strangled with his children in the basement of the Doge's Palace.

 In the window the box of the devil is also kept, an insidious death trap that conceals inside a four-barrelled gun that fires when it is opened, a collar full of nails inside to torture the victims, an iron screw to crush fingers and an iron key, seemingly harmless but actually hiding a poisoned dart that was triggered when it was turned...

The objects that attract the attention of most visitors is a large sword, that was used for public executions in St Mark's Square in the Middle Ages, and a chastity belt... Unlike common beliefs, the belt was not used by jealous husbands when they were leaving for long trips, but for the women to wear when they knew that the enemy was at the gates: rather than experiencing violence they would rather die ‘untouched'.

The Armoury is included in the regular guided tour of the Doge's Palace, which can be visited by buying the combined ticket for the  Museums of St. Mark's Square. If you want a more complete experience, we also offer an exclusive private guided tour of the palace, where you can discover treasures and secrets of the most important building of the Venice Republic escorted by our brilliant tour guide!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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