Ca’ d’Oro or as many prefer to call it, Plazza Santa Sofia, is one of Venice’s oldest palaces and was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family.
Considered as the most powerful family controlling the largest number of seats in the Venice’s Great Council until 1797, Contarini was also one of Venice’s founding families.
The ownership of the palace has changed several times since the fall of the Venetian Republic and the place was often redecorated by its owners.
During the 19th century, the house was owned by ballet dancer Maria Taglioni, who removed the Gothic stairway from the inner courtyard. That destroyed the ornate balconies of the palace which today is judged to have been an act of vandalism.
The palace’s last owner, Baron Giorgio Franchetti, reconstructed the house again. He built an extensive restaurant, remodeled the stairway and the Cosmatesque courtyard with ancient marbles, and added some important art which now embellishes the interior.
Among its many names, the picturesque palace is also known as the ‘golden house’ because of the golden coating and polychromed elements that once adorned the walls. What makes this palace even more fabulous is the gothic infrastructure designed by the architects Giovanni Bon and his son Bartolomeo Bon.
Bartolomeo was famous for the many buildings he decorated such as the portal of the Scuola Grande di San Marco, the portal of San Paolo, the marble door of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Frari, the Porta Della Carta and many others.
Ca’ d’Oro offers an exquisite taste of Venice’s art and architecture. Although the tour inside doesn’t take long it’s still a tour to remember.
The entrance ticket reasonably priced and those who visit Venice shouldn’t miss visiting this place. It’s a masterpiece worth seeing. Ca’ d’Oro is open to tourists from 08:15 am to 14:00 pm on Mondays, and from 08:15 or 09:00 am to 19:00 pm for the rest of the week.
Other nearby buildings with similar architecture are the Palazzo Giustinian and the Palazzo Barbaro.
However, the Ca’ d’Oro always attracts tourists more than the other buildings around and remains one of Venice’s beloved landmarks.