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Ca’Vendramin Calergi

Ca’Vendramin Calergi (19)

Although the exact date of the construction of this palace on the Grand Canal is unknown, it is estimated that work began around 1481, being completed around 1509. The architect entrusted for the project would have been Mauro Codussi, who would have signed, in this way, his master work.

In fact, Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the first of the large palaces built in Venice during the Renaissance, is considered one of the great architectural jewels of the golden period of the Serenissima Republic.

Originally, it belonged to the patrician Loredan family, who provided three doges to the city, but, after being involved in economic problems, they had to sell their luxury residence in 1581. Here would begin a storybook periplus for the building, which would pass through numerous hands.

Acquired to start with by the Duke of Brunswick, two years later it became the property of the Marquis of Mantua, who then passed it on to Vittore Calergi, an aristocrat whose origins were in the island of Crete. 

The Calergi family were responsible for giving the palace a large part of its splendour, since while they were the owners of the building a new wing was built, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, which looked out over the garden.

In 1739 the palace was inherited by the Vendramin family, who were related to the Calergi, and was maintained as patrimony of the family until the mid-19th century, when, after several setbacks during the convulsive times of the Risorgimento, the building came to be the residence of the Dukes of Grazia. 

This was one of the most outstanding periods of Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, since the dukes had Richard Wagner as a guest as from 1882. In fact, the composer, who during this period was working on the opera Parsifal, died in the palace on the 13th of February 1883.

The most significant change occurred in 1946, when Ca’ Vendramin Calergi became the property of the Comune di Venezia, who turned it into the winter centre of the city casino. These facilities currently occupy the second floor, while the first floor, the piano nobile, is reserved for cultural acts and different types of receptions.

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