Doges Palace history

Everything to Know About the History of the Doge’s Palace

The city of Venice has long fascinated travelers from around the world. The floating city, one of the oldest in the world, is home to iconic monuments and beautiful structures that provide an important insight into Venice’s rich history. One such structure is the Doge’s Palace, also known as Palazzo Ducale -- a grand old palace that once served as the official residence of the Doge of Venice. Here are all the essential details to know about its history and significance in Venice.

Doge’s Palace At A Glance

doges palace history
  • The Doge’s Palace was constructed in the year 1340 and went through several renovations in the years to come
  • It demonstrates a considerable influence of classic Gothic architecture and style
  • Several fires over the years have destroyed important parts of the palace; great effort has been put into its renovation
  • It was converted into a museum in 1923 under the Venetian state
  • The courtyards, Doge’s Apartments, prisons, and Bridge of Sighs are some important points of attraction at the palace

Doge’s Palace History

Located at Piazzetta San Marco, right across the St. Mark’s Basilica, is the Doge’s Palace. It is a symbol of the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic and contains a fascinating history into the city’s history. 

The Doge’s Palace that we see today is not the one was that was first created. The first structure was constructed at the beginning of the 9th Century under the leadership of Doge Agnello Participazio. After a massive fire during the 10th Century, the structure was renovated under Doge Sebastiano Ziani. Very few traces still remain of this structure, apart from some stone and brick work. 

As Venice’s economy grew and trade by land and sea increased significantly during the 12th and 13th Centuries, the Doge gave the order to construct a new governmental palace. In 1340, construction began for the Doge’s Palace that we can see today. Several elements from Byzantine and Gothic architecture were added to the palace’s construction. It was further expanded during the 1400s, adding courtyards, facades, wings, etc. 

Over the next few centuries, several fires destroyed several parts of the Doge’s Palace. Renovation and reconstruction work attempted to maintain its original Gothic style. 

After multiple political upheavals, under Napolean, the French and the Austrians, it was only in 1866 when the Doge’s Palace finally became a part of Italy. In 1923, it was handed over to the state and since 1996, it has been under the Venetian museums network.  

Book Doge's Palace Tickets

Skip The Line: Doge's Palace Tickets
Guided Tour of The Doge's Palace + The Royal Palaces
Guided Tour of St. Mark's Basilica & Doge's Palace + The Royal Palaces