Emblem of the Fondaco of the Germans

The Fondaco of the Germans on the Canal Grande.

The internal court-yard of the Fondaco.
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Emblem of the Fondaco of the Germans


immagine didascalia

The Fondaco of the Germans on the Canal Grande.


immagine didascalia

The internal court-yard of the Fondaco.



Fondaco dei Tedeschi

“Germans and Venetians, we are one, because our business relationships are go back so many years”. So wrote Gerolamo Priuli Jerome in the early 1500s, the spokesman of the Venetian aristocracy. Venice enjoyed a privileged relationship with Germany, already well documented at the time of Charlemagne and favoured by Venice’s strategic geographical position.

A series of agreements and alliances brokered by clever Venetian diplomats ensured that so much trade took place in Venice by the turn of the 15th Century that it was considered the commercial capital of Europe.
Rialto was the centre of trading and so it was only natural that the North European merchants had their warehouse here, the well protected and guarded Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Used only by Hungarian, Austrian and Flemish merchants (the Venetians called many peoples from northern Europe “tedeschi”), the Fondaco served as a customs warehouse, emporium, canteen and hostel.

Documents prove its existence in 1225, although the current building is a reconstruction built in the early 1500s and funded by the Venetian Senate. Designed by Scarpagnino in the Renaissance style, it has a large courtyard with three porticoes overlooking this.
The façade has crenellated cornices and a portico at street level. Originally the façade was also decorated with frescoes by Giorgione and Titian, the lacerti of which are now in Ca' d’Oro.


1500  -   S. CROCE - rev. 0.1.6

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