The New Prisons of the Doge’s Palace, Venice

The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most infamous landmarks in Venice. It links the opulent grandeur of the Doge’s Palace to the arched, minimalist cells of the New Prisons. In fact, the bridge gets its name from the sighs of desperation exhaled by those crossing it into captivity.

The Doge's Palace (left) and the New Prisons (right)

The Doge’s Palace (left) and the New Prisons (right)

The Bridge of Sighs

The Bridge of Sighs

View from the Bridge of Sighs

View from the Bridge of Sighs

The Palace end of the Bridge of Sighs

The Palace end of the Bridge of Sighs

The twin arches where the Bridge of Sighs enters the New Prisons

The twin arches where the Bridge of Sighs enters the New Prisons

Despite their name, construction on the New Prisons actually began way back in 1580. One of the original designers was actually a prisoner with a life sentence, Zaccaria Briani, who received three years remission in return for his help!

IMG_3554IMG_3555IMG_3559The prisons are for the most part three storeys high, and arranged around a central courtyard.

IMG_3608Many of the cells still retain their original wood cladding, meant to help keep out the damp.

IMG_3573In several places you can see abundant graffiti carved into the wood or stone of the cells by their inmates. Or drawn on the arched ceilings using the black smoke from candles.

IMG_3579 IMG_3580 IMG_3627After the magnificence of the Doge’s Palace, the tour through the New Prisons is a slightly harrowing experience. But fascinating nonetheless.

IMG_3560 IMG_3572 IMG_3614This post was inspired by the themes Minimalist from Jen (of The Daily Post) and Arches from Ailsa (of Where’s My Backpack?).

You encounter some dodgy people in prison

You encounter some dodgy people in prison

While you’re imagining the awful fate of those incarcerated in the New Prisons, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

Me (right) and Ernest doing some research for Jaspa's Journey 5: The Ses Collector

Me (right) and Ernest doing some research for Jaspa’s Journey 5: The Ses Collector

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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14 Responses to The New Prisons of the Doge’s Palace, Venice

  1. Fascinating! Thanks for taking me there.

  2. Pingback: Travel Theme-Arches | WoollyMuses

  3. Marcy says:

    Very interesting–I would like to visit there one day.

    • Jaspa says:

      It’s a very interesting place, Marcy. During this visit to Venice, we also did the ‘Secret Itineraries’ tour of the Doge’s Palace, which takes you to parts not normally seen by the public. Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post!

  4. This place is scary to me. My imagination about its history makes me shiver…

  5. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Little Bear Fire | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  6. These photos tell such a story.

  7. Pingback: The Irresistible Lure of Venice | Jaspa's Journal

  8. emma says:

    I feel like I’m right there as you describe the prison. amazing work

  9. Pingback: Secret Itineraries Tour, Doge’s Palace, Venice | Jaspa's Journal

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