Monday, June  17, 2019
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Jenn and I (Roland and Stephanie were still on their Murano excursion) first visited the Doge's Palace. Now a huge museum, the palace is not only a masterpiece of architecture (Italian Gothic), but also houses important collections (like the armory) and is an invaluable accounting of the history of the venetian republic.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Heads of different races
Main Courtyard, Doge's Palace
Giant's Staircase
After visiting the ornate inner courtyard, we began to explore the interior. After walking up the Giant's Staircase and the Golden Staircase, we began to walk through the floors of the second level. We walked through chamber after elaborate chamber, with intricate ceiling and wall carvings surrounding paintings by master painters of the renaissance. These chambers were mostly used as meeting or administrative rooms for the political bodies that ruled and managed the venetian republic - The Council Chamber, Senate Chamber, Chamber of the Ten.
courtesy JInnes
courtesy JInnes
Courtyard Wellhead
Monopola's Clock
The Lion's Mouth
Engraved Prayer
The Golden Staircase
The Four Doors Room
The Council Chamber
The Senate Chamber
The Senate Chamber
Ceiling detail, Senate Chamber
Chamber of Ten
After the grand chambers of the second floor, we next visited the armory, which contains a big collection of various weaponry items: 15th and 16th century suits of armor, swords, halberds, and crossbows; additionally, the armory contains many examples of early firearms from the 16th and 17th century. And finally, and soberingly, implements of torture and various "illegal" weapons. Overall, a huge collection of items - a collection that we only were able to cursorily view.
Equestrian Suit of Armor
Armory Weapons
Wheellock pistols
Styled window, Doge's Palace
Riva degli Schiavoni
Grand Council Hall
After the armory, we fittingly visited the palace's prisons. Accessed via the famous ponte sospiri (bridge of sighs), the prison rooms are located in an adjacent building complex, separated from the main palace by a canal. A dark, bleak place, full of rough stone. A stark contrast to the richly-decorated ruling chambers.
Bridge of Sighs
New Prison
Prison Chambers
Back across Bridge of Sighs
Giant's Staircase
Doge's Palace
Our alloted time for visiting the Doge's palace was quickly drawing to a close, so we hurried through the prison complex and then walked back to the palace's inner courtyard and then out through the monumental Foscari Arch, back into the Piazza San Marco. There, we met back up with Roland and Stephanie, who had just completed the watery journey back from the island of Murano.
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
courtesy RHanel
Venetian Vaporetto
Lagoon Police
Water-ambulance
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