Cà d'Oro Palace

Venice, Italy

Palazzo Santa Sofia is known as Ca' d'Oro ('golden house') due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.

The palace was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided Venice with eight Doges between 1043 and 1676. The architects of the Ca d'Oro were Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo Bon.

Following the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, the palace changed ownership several times. One 19th century owner, the ballet dancer Marie Taglioni, removed the Gothic stairway from the inner courtyard and destroyed the ornate balconies overlooking the court.

In 1894, the palace was acquired by its last owner, baron Giorgio Franchetti; throughout his lifetime, he amassed an important art collection and personally oversaw its extensive restoration, including the reconstruction of the stairway and the Cosmatesque courtyard with ancient marbles. In 1916, Franchetti bequeathed the Ca' d'Oro to the Italian State. It is now open to the public as a gallery: Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca' d'Oro.

The principal façade of Ca' d'Oro facing onto the Grand Canal is built in the Bon's Venetian floral Gothic style. Other nearby buildings in this style are Palazzo Barbaro and the Palazzo Giustinian. This linear style favoured by the Venetian architects was not totally superseded by the Baroque one until the end of the 16th century.

On the ground floor, a recessed colonnaded loggia gives access to the entrance hall directly from the canal. Above this colonnade is the enclosed balcony of the principal salon on the piano nobile. The columns and arches of this balcony have capitals which in turn support a row of quatrefoil windows; above this balcony is another enclosed balcony or loggia of a similar yet lighter design.

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Details

Founded: 1428-1430
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Italy

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anne Amison (8 months ago)
I love this cool and tranquil gallery. The art, the views of the Grand Canal, the exquisite marble pavements of the portone - all unmissable.
Rocky Ron (9 months ago)
I often go and see CA d'oro. Rich in history and with plenty of interesting, special works of art, it does deserve a visit
Plamen Kolev (10 months ago)
The view from the boat. The trip was amazing
ben leonard (11 months ago)
The majority of the museum is closed at the moment so they offer a reduced ticket price of E3. You can still see the canal level mosaics, portico, wellhead and stairway (including a column marked with the levels of previous acqua alta) and a small but beautiful chapel with a painting of San Sebastián on the first floor (but no access to the piano nobile windows). Still worth it for a quick 20 min poke around
Syed Asif Ali Shah (12 months ago)
The name ca d’oro mean Golden place due to its external decorations which is very old buildings located on the grand canal. it Was constructed between 1430 to 1440 and has typical venetian architeture . Currently the building is owned by ministery of culture and serving as palace and museum. it has huge collection from modern to old art .
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