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Ca' d'Oro

Ca' d'Oro façade overlooking the Grand Canal.
The Casa d'Oro. Pencil and watercolour by John Ruskin.

Ca' d'Oro (correctly Palazzo Santa Sofia) is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palaces in the city, it is known as Ca' d'Oro ("golden house") due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Description 2
  • Sources 3
  • External links 4

History

The palace was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided Venice with eight Doges between 1043 and 1676. The architects of the Ca d'Oro were Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo Bon.

Following the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the palace changed ownership several times. One 19th century owner, the ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, removed (in what today can be considered an act of vandalism) the Gothic stairway from the inner courtyard and also destroyed the ornate balconies overlooking the court.

In 1894, the palace was acquired by its last owner, baron Gothic style. Other nearby buildings in this style are Palazzo Barbaro and the Palazzo Giustinian. This linear style favoured by the Venetian architects was not totally superseded by the Baroque one until the end of the 16th century.

On the ground floor, a recessed colonnaded loggia gives access to the entrance hall (portego de mezo) directly from the canal. Above this colonnade is the enclosed balcony of the principal salon on the piano nobile. The columns and arches of this balcony have capitals which in turn support a row of quatrefoil windows; above this balcony is another enclosed balcony or loggia of a similar yet lighter design.

The palace has (like other similar buildings in Venice) a small inner courtyard.

Sources

External links

  • Galleria Giorgio Franchetti
  • Satellite image from Google Maps

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