Palazzo Ducale is located next to St. Marks Basilica in the center of Venice, Italy. It translates to the Doge's Palace. The Doge was the senior elected leader of the Republic of Venice. In many respects his position was similar to a prince or a duke. Construction on the Doge's Palace in it's current location began during the 12th century. Since then it has been destroyed by fire and undergone renovations multiple times.
Within the square structure of the palace is a large and elegant courtyard.
What I found most interesting about this palace was that it was not only
a residence for the high official, but also served as the court house,
legal headquarters and prison.
In the top photo two bridges spanning the canal are visible. The covered bridge in the back is known as the Bridge of Sighs. It connects the palace with the prison.