Hidden treasures

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

Unknown places & works
armeria-ducale

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

Latest posts

Venice: The Royal Gardens of Venice are returning to life

giardini-reali
Unknown places & works

Venice never fails to amaze. After the disastrous high tide last November, the city shows its strong pride with the reopening, after ex...

View

Treviso: The curious legends about the origin of Treviso Red Chicory

radicchio_CC.Mon CEil
Did you know that...

Did you know that, according to an ancient popular saying, red chicory (radicchio as it is known in Italy) seems to have been born as a...

View

Venice: Acqua Alta: when a normal phenomenon becomes tragic

Acqua-alta-a-Venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that ‘Acqua Alta’ is an expression of Venetian dialect used by its inhabitants to describe the high tides that occur p...

View

Venice: Mars, Adam and Eve: the Doge's Palace celebrates their return

restauro-adamo-eva-ducale
Unknown places & works

After four years of delicate restoration work, the three fifteenth-century statues by the great artist Antonio Rizzo will be exceptiona...

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