Hidden treasures

The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Historical Curiosities
Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi

The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell...

After having been the Post Office building for two centuries, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi was recently reopened after a long period of restoration that has transformed it into a luxurious shopping centre.

The palace was built in 1508 after a big fire destroyed the previous building. It was initially meant to be used for the arrival and storage of goods transported by German or Flemish merchants... At the time, the Serenissima Republic was cosmopolitan and all foreign merchants were welcome, though always closely monitored by the authorities!

Inside the building, after going up to the first floor, you will find numerous marine inscriptions, monograms and symbols engraved on the marbles of the balconies by German merchants: a collection of over two hundred evidences that still represent an example perhaps unique in the world of Renaissance corporate symbols.

Even the façade overlooking the Grand Canal is full of surprises, such as the depiction of a double-lily and a sort of pentagram formed actually by two clubs which are under the sills of the central windows. According to some scholars these are probably coat arms related to the Fugger brothers, the most prestigious German bankers in Europe in the 1500s.

Would you like to discover other fascinating buildings in Venice? Contact us to arrange an exclusive private tour with our expert guides!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The relief of the man with the pipe at Palazzo Loredan on the Grand Canal

palazzo-loredan
Mysteries & Legends

One of the oldest buildings on the banks of the Grand Canal is Palazzo Loredan, built in the 13th century and currently seat of the Tow...

View

Verona: The equestrian monument at Cangrande della Scala in Verona

cangrande
Big Names

One of the most famous people in the history of Verona is surely Cangrande della Scala, Lord of Verona from 1308 to 1329, the year of h...

View

Verona: Venetian walls in Peschiera del Garda

peschiera-del-garda
Historical Curiosities

Today Venice is ‘merely’ the capital of a region in Italy, but once it was the capital of an Empire that extended to the Eastern Me...

View

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

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