Ca’ d’Oro - Ca’ d’Oro information and pictures
Palazzo Santa Sofia, known as Ca’ d’Oro
, is a palace built for the Contarini family between 1428 and 1430. The architects tasked with the design were the sculptors Bartolomeo Bon (son) and Giovanni Bon (father). The main facade faces Grand Canal
and is built in the floral Gothic style. The facade is among the most photographed and a favorite of visitors of Venice. The Palazzo Giustinian and Palazzo Barbaro are nearby palaces in the linear style. This style is Moorish in design and is characterized by delicate architectural motifs.
The stunning family residence is impressive even without the gold ornaments which gave it its name – Golden House. The palace got this name because of the intricate ornaments and detailing in the interior, including lavish decoration with ultramarine, vermilion, and gold leaf ornaments.
The ground floor of Ca’ d’Oro contains a colonnaded corridor or loggia, giving access from the water. Above the loggia is the main sitting room or salon, situated on the first floor of the palace. The arches are decorated with quatrefoil windows that resemble flowers. There is another balcony with quartrefoil windows above the main level. Like many palaces of this period, Ca’ d’Oro was build around an inner courtyard. The most barbaric restoration was done by the Russian ballerina Maria Taglioni. She destroyed the balconies facing the courtyard as well as the courtyard stairs. She removed most of the marble and sold the well. Baron Giorgio Franchetti, the last private owner of Ca’ d’Oro preserved the architectural integrity of the building and saved it from further destruction. Thanks to Baron Franchetti, the house was restored to its former glory (1915). The palace was bequeathed to the state, the well was reinstalled, and the exterior was restored.
Giorgio Franchetti also donated an extensive collection of artworks. Today, it is a gallery open to the public and named after Franchetti. The palazzo houses a number of important art pieces, including sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and bronzes ripped from Venetian churches as Napoleonic war trophies. On the 2nd floor, collection highlights include the Madonna and Child by Pietro Lombardo, the Saint Sebastian altarpiece by Andrea Mantegna, and pieces of frescoes by Titian. The gallery houses an extensive art collection, featuring works by Tiepolo, Carpaccio, and Tintoretto, as well as many non-Venetian and Flemish artists such as van Dyck and van Eyck. A number of paintings and artworks have been added over the years. The palace next to Palazzo Santa Sofia, Ca’ Duodo features an impressive collection of ceramics that were found in the Venetian lagoon.
The gallery is open from Monday to Sunday, and admission is free for disabled people, members of voluntary associations, journalists, and European citizens under 18 and over 65 years of age. Admission is free for all visitors during the Week of Culture, 9 – 17 April. Headsets and MP3 sets are available in English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Japanese, and the texts are written by historians who specialize in history of art.
Where is Ca’ d’Oro: Grand Canal, Cannaregio district
How to get to Ca’ d’Oro: By vaporetto- Ca’ d’Oro stop
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:15AM to 7:15 PM; Mondays to 2PM
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