Our original plan for the morning was a visit to see the Basilica followed by a visit to the Doge's Palace. Due to the fact that it was April 25th, which is known as St.Marks Day in Venice , they were holding mass in the morning hours so we were kindly diverted to the souvenir booth, boo!
Since we could not see inside the basilica we headed over to the Doge's Palace to pleasantly find a very short line to enter the palace. Below is a little history on the palace and some photos from our visit.
The Doge's Palace is a gothic palace in Venice, northern Italy. The palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice. The current palace was largely constructed from 1309 to 1424, designed perhaps by Filippo Calendario. It replaced earlier fortified buildings of which relatively little is known. Giovanni and Bartolomeo Bon created the Porta della Carta in 1442, a monumental late-gothic gate on the Piazzetta side of the palace. This gate leads to a central courtyard. The palace was badly damaged by a fire on December 20, 1577. In the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original Gothic style, despite the submission of a neo-classical alternative design by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. However, there are some classical features — for example, since the 16th century, the palace has been linked to the prison by the Bridge of Sighs.
As well as being the ducal residence, the palace housed political institutions of the Republic of Venice until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797. Venice was ruled by an aristocratic elite, but there was a facility for citizens to submit written complaints at what was known as the Bussola chamber.The palazzo's principal function was to provide a space for the government to carry out its civic responsibilities to its people. The doge did, in fact, reside in the palazzo, however, he held no real power and was a representative figurehead for the Republic. The building is preserved as a museum today.
These are the original tops to the columns surrounding the exterior of the palace. Apparently you are not allowed to take photos of these but I ended up getting away with several shots before I was told to stop, oops!
These are some shots I got inside the courtyard of the palace.
Walking up to the Doge's apartment.
The view outside one of the windows from the Doge's apratment.
Down below the palace is the prison
After our visit to the Palace we walked across San Marco square to the Correr Museum since we received a free entrance with our ticket purchase to the palace.
I ended up breaking my pinky toe while taking the photo of the graffiti artwork on the right against the base of a marble column, boy did that feel good!
The photo on the right is of a balloon animal made out of glass, I was fascinated!