Monument sights in The Veneto
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Behind the altar at the Basilica di San Marco, the exquisite Pala d'Oro is a gold, enamel and jewel-encrusted altarpiece (measuring 384cm by 212cm) made in Constantinople for Doge Pietro Orseolo I in 976. It was enriched and reworked in Constantinople in 1105, enlarged by Venetian goldsmiths in 1209 and reset in the 14th century. Among the almost 2000 stones that adorn it are 526 pearls, 320 emeralds, rubies, amethysts, sapphires, jasper, topaz and coralline.
You’ll know you’ve crossed from Cannaregio into Castello when you spot Bartolomeo Colleoni galloping out to meet you. The bronze equestrian statue is one of only two such public monuments in Venice – and an extraordinary example of early-Renaissance sculpture. It commemorates one of Venice’s most loyal mercenary commanders. From 1448, Colleoni commanded armies for the Republic, though in true mercenary form he switched sides a couple of times when he felt he’d been stiffed on pay or promotions. On his death in 1474, he bequeathed 216,000 gold and silver ducats to Venice, on one condition: that the city erect a commemorative statue to him in Piazza San Marco. Since not…