At one corner of the stunning block of pink and white that is the Doge’s Palace is the Porta della Carta; literally the Gate of Paper, so called, it is believed, because the laws of the Republic were proclaimed in front of here (as well as atop poor Gobbo) and petitioners wanting to present their requests to the government queued here.

It is an impressive piece of Venetian Gothic architecture (which means that Ruskin described it as “degraded”)  which features as its centrepiece a Doge of Venice, kneeling before the Lion of St Mark, thereby representing the individual submitting to the powers of the state.  The Doge in question is Francesco Foscari, a surname that has appeared several times through this project, so we aren’t just talking about any individual here.   Even the interests of the most powerful must defer.



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