ACQUAINTANCE WITH ITALY
A small adventure with a happy outcome added joyful exaltation and made further stay in Venice even brighter. Therefore, the Doge’s Palace, in which we went, fascinated me easily.
Erected in the 9th century as the first government palace, it remained its main residence until the conquest of Venice by Napoleon. True, time took its toll: the Doge’s Palace became such a delicate white and pink handsome in the fourth performance of the 16th century.
Here the Senate sat, ministries, executive, judicial power, “secret office” and prison were located. It is from this time that the famous Bridge of Sighs comes into being: a covered gallery between the Palace and the additional prison.
The romantic name hides the tragic truth of life: heading for the chamber after the verdict, people here breathed the “free” air for the last time, sighing about it … The Palace prison is famous for its prisoners: here Casanova and Giordano Bruno sat. Perhaps, even in this chamber, the secret part of the palace, spied between the grids of the long passage.
Now it seems that Venice has always been Italy, but this happened only at the end of the 19th century. Therefore, the Doge’s Palace was not only the personification of state power, but also a tool for creating the image of the Republic at the international level.
Even the courtyard gives an idea of its magnificence.
Former private doge apartments are decorated with statues of philosophers and archangels. On the right is the ladder of the Giants; on its top platform crowned doge.
You can walk around the openwork galleries of the Palace and even capture the capitals of ancient columns. They are unique in the depicted history of the formation of Christianity in the Republic.
The extraordinary beauty and luxury of the Palace was supposed to suppress foreign ambassadors.
And suppressed, no doubt! After all, the “designers” of the interiors of his rooms were Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bellini …
The gold staircase, accessible only to the elite, leads to the masterly interior spaces. The halls of Purple, Lviv, Collegiums, Philosophers, Magistrate, Senate – just fabulous for the decoration of walls and ceilings! From frescoes, panels, plafonds, medallions and paintings of outstanding artists simply dazzled.
And when you think that you can’t be surprised by anything, you get into the hall of the Grand Council. It is considered the largest in the world (without internal ceilings) and is decorated with the Tintoretto painting “Paradise”, also the largest of all known canvases!
It is no wonder that photos are forbidden there.
It is possible to photograph the Venice lagoon from the height of the second floor of the open gallery of the Palace only on the run.
And admire the other islands, which are also Venice, and there are 118 of them!
There is an island-cemetery, or “island of the dead.” Dyagilev, Stravinsky and Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky are buried there. There is an island beach, Lido. There is a colorful island of laces of Burano and the famous Venetian glass island of Murano.
One colorful island got into my photo collection. This is San Giorgio Maggiore, whose bell tower of the monastery of the same name resembles the San Marco campaign.
But … I did not visit any of them, preferring to wander around the city in the company of experts, examining the streets, houses and bridges. Here is the most ancient bridge of Venice, Rialto. Built in the 9th century of wood, it later became stone. They named it, probably, in honor of the island, from which the city began. The city, which has become a unique and its “island” essence, and an all-time long history of prosperity.
Venice is too unusual to please everyone. I would not call her an absolute beauty, but here there is an incredible charm, mystery, originality, and much more, inexplicable in words. And what are they for, if I just know: Venice is the best I’ve ever seen!