Sunday, April 19, 2009

Perusing the Doge's Palace

Originally email June 14, 2006.

We were about to go over to the Doge's palace and along the way I noted some interesting architectural details. Like this: 4 porphyry
A term used somewhat loosely to designate a rock consisting
of a fine-grained base (usually feldspathic) through which
crystals, as of feldspar or quartz, are disseminated. There
are red, purple, and green varieties, which are highly
esteemed as marbles.
figures whom the Venetians called "Moors". Those Italians, they love them some architectural details!

I like the little details they put on the buildings. Does anyone ever notice this stuff?

I loved the detail of the ceiling. Looks nice in black and white, too.

Inside the Doge's Palace (built in 1309, rebuilt after a fire in 1577), in the central courtyard. This is where the riff-raff waited to be recognized before they could have their audience.

Statuary on the roof? "Of course!" say the Italians. "What's a roof without statues on it? Booooring!"

This is a fountain in the middle of the courtyard. All manner of coins in it. Why do tourists do that? Even when there are posted signs asking them to keep their germy money! In this case, though, check out the carving.

Here's the staircase that Rick Steve's tour guide describes as "...a grand staircase (with nearly naked Moses and Paul Newman at the top)." The statues are by Sansovino and the staircase is called Scala dei Giganti (Giant's Stairway).

Clearly they're referring to a young Paul Newman here.

Detail from the staircase.

This was very cool: The Mouth of Truth in which you put information you wanted to give to the Doge or the ruling council in secret. Translated it means: "Put down here your Secrets, against those who oppressed you, freely and officially. Have faith, for those who hide the truth will answer for it." I think we need one of those in Washington!

Going up! This is before all the signs of "No fotografia!" showed up.

Up the stairs! Up the stairs! There are an awful lot of stairs in Venice. Must be the fear of the mud. But since you have so many to climb, you may as well have something to look at on the way up. Tactical thinking. We walked a LOT of stairs and many miles a day in Italy. It was clearly needed to burn off all the gelato we were consuming, but wow! Stairs - very popular ways of going upwards to see fantastical works of art.

Ceiling details.

A door to a room filled with untold wealth.

Door detail shot. Scary!

There's so much more that it still boggles my mind. Also, keep in mind that these are the only shots I was allowed to take. The interior you aren't allowed to photograph, although I remember plenty of people with tiny little point-and-shoot cameras having a field day. However, I with my enormous Canon was too obvious when shooting and thus was told repeatedly "No fotografia!"

It was beautiful. You should go!


Anonymous said...

I feel as though I could reach through these photos to touch the buildings/carvings/statues. I think I will add Venice to my list of places to visit before I'm too old.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks Anon!

You know, you're never too old to visit beautiful places. You may be INFIRM, but never too old!

deepstructure said...

we just toured the palace and were puzzled by rick's description of the two statues on the giant's staircase as "moses and paul newman". was that supposed to be a joke?

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