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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrCa' d'Oro, originally known as ‘Palazzo Santa Sofia’, is the city's finest example of 15th-century, Venetian-Gothic architecture. The palace was designed by famed architect, Giovanni Bon, and his son, Bartolomeo. The palace's marble traceries and ornaments were embellished with pure gold.
It is located along the Grand Canal, the city’s main water way, just on the north of Rialto Bridge in the Cannaregio district.
Its gorgeous facade, once covered with gold leaves, lost some of its glory over the years. The Golden House is one of the most beautiful palaces in Venice and it is still impressive - even without the gold ornaments which gave it its name.
The Venetian-Gothic style is Byzantine in appearance. The principal façade facing onto the Grand Canal is built in the Bon's Venetian floral Gothic style. The decorative balconies with multiple arches give the palace its splendor.
Not only is the building of the Ca' d'Oro an amazing attraction, but also the Franchetti collection displayed in the galleries is one of the most rewarding of Venice's galleries.
A good place to visit is the beautiful panorama from the balconies over the Grand Canal.
HistoryThe Ca' d'Oro was built between 1422 and 1440 for a a rich merchant, Marino Contarini . Like many palaces of that period, Ca’ d’Oro was build around an inner courtyard. Over its many years, the Ca’ d’Oro came into the hands of several families and underwent internal changes that caused great degradation. Around the end of the 19th century the building was bought by the Russian, Alessandro Troubezkoi, as a gift for the great ballet dancer, Marie Taglioni. Under the ownership of the ballet dancer, the palace suffered a number of depredations. She destroyed the courtyard stairs as well as the balconies that overlooked the courtyard, sold the historic well, and removed much of the marble. In 1894, the palace was bought by Giorgio Facchetti who who devoted his life to restoring the Ca' d'Oro to its original grandeur. Today, it houses an art collection belonging to Baron Giorgio Franchetti, who donated it to the Italian State in 1922.
Franchetti GalleryInside the palace, you can visit the Franchetti Gallery, one of the most important in this city that is rich in art. Baron Franchetti’s art collection consists mainly of sculptures and paintings by both Venetian and foreign artists. These contain artworks such as “Venus at Her Mirror” by Titian and Lombardo’s “Young Couple”, paintings by Vittore Carpaccio, but there you will also find names such as Tintoretto, Bernini, Guardi, Vivarini, H. Van Eyck, etc. The greatest masterpiece on display is Andrea Mantegna's “St. Sebastian”.
- Take a break on one of the balconies overlooking the Grand Canal and enjoy the views.
- On your way out don't miss the wonderful mosaics on the ground floor.
VisitingCa' d'Oro is open on Monday 8:15 AM - 2:00 PM and from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:15 AM - 7:15 PM. There is free admission on the first Sunday of every month. The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closes. Note that during temporary exhibitions the price of admission is subject to change. Give yourself at least 2 hours to explore the gallery and to enjoy the superb view from the balconies.
Getting ThereGet off the vaporetto at the Ca'd'Oro stop on the Grande Canal and walk up the narrow passage. The entrance is by the narrow alley which connects the pontoon Ca' d'Oro with Strada Nova.
Nearby LandmarksOne of the most authentic neighborhoods in Venice, Cannaregio is also home to one of the best examples of Venetian-Renaissance architecture - Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the burial place of famed painter, Tintoretto , as well as the Church of Madonna dell’Orto and Venice’s Jewish Ghetto.
Church of Santa Maria dei MiracoliSanta Maria dei Miracoli, built in the 15th century, is a small, early Renaissance church with colored marbles, false colonnade on the walls and semicircular pediment. The church is open from Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and closed on Sundays.
Church of Madonna dell’OrtoThe ‘Tintoretto Church’, Madonna dell'Orto was built in 14th century. It has been described as “the finest Gothic church in Venice”. Artwork inside the church includes work by Tintoretto, Molinari, and Bellini. Tintoretto, himself, and his family were buried in this church. The church is open from Monday to Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and closed on Sundays.
Jewish GhettoThe Jewish Ghetto of Venice was the first ghetto in Europe. It was established in the 16th century by the government of Venetian Serenissima Republic. It remained the required home to the city’s Jews until Napoleon took the city in 1797. The ghetto is home to a Jewish museum and 5 synagogues. The synagogues can only be visited on a guided tour.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Nov 04, 2014