The Doge’s Palace

Venice, Italy
Kirker Holidays

Built between 1309 and 1442, the Doge’s Palace was the seat of government of the Venetian Republic, and remains one of the city’s most symbolic monuments. A prime example of Venetian-Gothic architecture, it faces onto Piazza San Marco and the Venetian Lagoon, with a façade which appears to almost float above the ground. Although referred to as a ‘palace’, only a small part of the building was used as the private apartments of the Doge, with much of the area dedicated to the institutional chambers used by the political organs of the Venetian Republic, including the Senate, the Council of Ten, and the Great Council.

Inside are rare sculptures, paintings and frescoes by Venetian artists such as Rizzo, Sansovino, Tintoretto, Vivarini and Veronese. The Palace also has the largest canvas in the world – Tintoretto’s ‘Paradise’ – which adorns one vast wall of the Chamber of the Great Council. Don’t miss the Scala dei Giganti, the grand marble staircase which leads to the Palace from its internal courtyard, and is flanked by Sansovino’s magnificent sculptures of Mars and Neptune.

A corridor leads from the main palace building over the Bridge of Sighs, to the ‘new’ prisons. Built in 1614, the bridge is enclosed and covered on all sides, with a small window providing the final view of Venice that would elicit the eponymous ‘sigh’ from prisoners such as Casanova as they were led into their cells.

The Doge’s Palace is open every day except public holidays. All Kirker clients visiting Venice will receive a fast-track entrance ticket, which also allows you to gain access to the Museo Correr, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Marciana Library, one of the oldest surviving public libraries and the repository of an important collection of manuscripts and classical texts.


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