The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in VeniceHistorical Curiosities
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.
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