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Landscapes and Architecture

The Giants Staircase, Doge's Palace, Venice

The Giants Staircase, Doge's Palace, Venice

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The Giants Staircase, Doge's Palace, Venice

The Doge’s Palace was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic, where 120 doges directed the fate of the city of Venice for almost 1,000 years.  The Doge’s Palace is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.  It is a very impressive structure composed of layers of building elements and ornamentation, from its 14th and 15th century original foundations to the significant Renaissance and opulent Mannerist adjunctions. The Giants' Staircase of the Doge's Palace in Venice was the official entrance to the Doge's Palace and was built between 1483 and 1491 and designed by Antonio Rizzo.  Its name derives from the two marble statues by Sansovino depicting Mars and Neptune, placed here in 1567, which represented the power and dominion of Venice on the mainland (Mars) and the sea (Neptune).  The monumental staircase connects the courtyard to the inner lodge on the first floor and it was the place where the ceremony of the Doge's coronation took place. It was therefore a very important place from a symbolic point of view and in fact the Doge Marino Falier was beheaded here on charges of high treason on April 17, 1355.  According to the legend, the two statues of Mars and Neptune were built so large in order to diminish the figure of the Doge at his coronation as a reminder that, after the sad story of Marino Falier, the Doge was a man like other men, and especially punishable!

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