Sunday, March 29, 2009
A Venetian Palazzo: The 'Ca D'Oro
All of the grand buildings in Venice were once called ‘Ca (which is short for casa: house), and that’s because the title of ‘palazzo’ was reserved for the Ducal Palace only. So, the ‘Ca D’Oro really means the ‘House of Gold’ because it was renowned for its golden façade; which unfortunately has since faded, but is still magnificent in its details.
This precious place was built in the 1420s for the Contarini family. These were great merchants and thus noblemen of Venice, who produced a series of Doges between 1043 to 1676. Back then, a Venetian noble’s palace was not only his home but also his place of business, which included his warehouse.
Just imagine ships coming through the lagoon and unloading merchandise right at the palazzos. So, the disposition was set as such:
-Main floor with the grand entrance for the warehouse;
-Second floor for the staff and administration;
-The next floor would be luxurious, and used mostly for entertaining important visitors;
-The family’s living area would be above all that -and – finally, the servants'quarters in the attic.
Can you imagine the nobleman’s view from up in his quarters…Seeing the Grand Canal and all incoming visitors, gondolas swaying and the glittering water from the sunshine…No wonder Venetians thought of themselves as being on top of the world!
If ever you go to Venice make sure you stop by and visit the ‘Ca D’Oro Palace. This Gothic style palace is now a museum that exhibits some of the finest works of art. It’s a quick tour, but the visit is magnificent. The Galleria Franchetti is named after Baron Giorgio Franchetti, an art collector who bought the place and restored it. I never tire of this visit.
Source: http://www.igougo.com, http://www.italyheaven.co.uk/veneto/venice/cadoro.html
Portrait of Bishops inside the gallery
Look at this beautiful Madonna and Child by Bici Lorenzo
Christian painting by Antonio Vivarini
In the Courtyard...
The 'Ca D'Oro at night...
Posted by Lucy at 6:45 PM