- Access Doge’s Palace Courtyard
The courtyard of the Doge’s Palace leads to the monumental Porta della Carta, a work by Giovanni Bartolomeo Bon which owes its name (“Door of paper”) to the nearby archives of the Serenissima Republic of Venice and the fact that decrees and new laws were drawn up here.
Decorated with rich sculptural work, visitors enter beneath the depiction of the Doge Francesco Foscari on his knees in front of the Lion of St. Mark.
The current courtyard of the Doge’s palace is surrounded by porticoes and loggias and on the southern and western side it recalls the gothic style of the brick palaces. The oriental side hosts the monumental 15th century staircase: the stone façade stands behind it, and is divided into four sections with pillars, columns and relief work by the Lombards. The clock façade stands to the north towards the Basilica. It is part of the architectural project of Bartolomeo Manopola. In the hollows to the sides of the clock and beneath it there are some original Roman statues that make up part of the Grimani collection and are subsequently held inside the Public Statuary of the Serenissima Republic of Venice. The statues still bear clear signs of sixteenth-century restorations with ancient additions and integrations.
At the centre of the courtyard there are two magnificent bronze well heads, sixteen-century works by Alberghetti and De Conti, richly decorated with a complex iconography.