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The Ca' d'Oro - A Magnificent Example Of Gothic Architecture

Jul 22, 2008
As one of the most amazing works of architecture, Ca' d'Oro has quite a claim to being world renowned and they definitely deserve the honor.

Venice enjoyed influences from the Middle East as well as throughout the continent when it comes to trade. Being a main European trade center, this has affected Venice's architecture among other things, helping to make it a top cosmopolitan city.

Ca' d'Oro was constructed during the 15th century and resides next to the main waterway of the town, the Grand Canal. After the mid 1400's it served as home to the Contarini family who were one of the quasi-noble and respected families of the area. The family gave 8 of its number as Doges to Venice between the years of 1043 and 1676.

Decorated in a pink and white facade along with remnants of past gold leafing (which gave the building its name), is a gothic style Venetian classic. With arches of the Byzantine style that are pointed, and carved posts that elaborately bear capitals, the building has only a small resemblance to the Greek. A popular architect of the time period named Giovanni Bon created the floral-like designs found throughout.

Located on the ground floor is the entrance, where it is accessible from the canal level in the colonnaded loggia. An enclosed balcony can be found above the entrance which is located on the upper floor and close to the art gallery which offers very impressive views.

In a bustling city, peace can be found in the inner courtyard as long as the place isn't too crowded with visionary visitors. While resting, an interesting sight not to miss is the wellhead, otherwise known as the vera di pozzo.

16th century Flemish Tapestries are displayed in one room, while in another, a collection of bronzes can be found which date between the 12th and 16th centuries. Just about every time period can be experienced through the furniture decorating the rooms throughout the premises.

Paintings found in the world famous Gallerie dell'Accademia are good examples of the kind of quality that can be found here. By Titian, "Venus at the Mirror" can be found as well as Manegna's "San Sebastiano". Other gorgeous paintings displayed are by Giorgione, Carpaccio and Tintoretto among others. Impressively, Van Dyke and Jan Steel made it possible for Dutch artwork to make it to Venice.

An inspiring view of the Grand Canal can be enjoyed on the upper floor balcony, and getting a close-up view of the quatrefoil intricately carved in the windows shouldn't be passed up. Another marvel when visiting the balcony are the polychrome marble incrustations to be found.

From this part of the gallery, it is easy to gain access to a room filled with intricate ceramics. Fit for the richest of the 15th century in Venice, kitchenware such as cups and plates can be viewed, offering the sense of what life was like during this time period for the wealthy.

Even shorn of its gold exterior, the Golden House offers many reasons to visit Ca' d'Oro.
About the Author
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