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 theft of the body of Saint Lucia from the church of San Geremia

venezia_santa_lucia
Historical Curiosities

13th December, throughout the Christian world, is devoted to the celebration of Saint Lucia, a martyr from Syracuse, Italy, who lived a...

View

Venice: The Tolomazi, the first tour guides of Venice

tolomazi
Historical Curiosities

In the Middle Ages, as in present day, Venice was a cosmopolitan city bustling with travellers from all over the Mediterranean. Many of...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Verona: Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella

villa-mosconi-bertani
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about wine and history, you cannot miss out on a visit to Villa Mosconi Bertani in Valpolicella (province of Vero...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

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

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View