Contarini dal Zaffo Palace


Venice: Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo - 16 kB

General remarks:

Date:16th century
Address:Cannaregio 3539
Current use:Istituto Cottolengo/Casa Card. Piazza "Opera fides intrepida"
Overview map:locate


The Palazzo Contarini at the Madonna dell'Orto has a very large façade in typical forms of the 16th century. The left wing has several grouped window axis, a serliana can be found, but not above the double gate - a strange asymmetrical arrangement. Between both gates a Contarini coat of arms ornates the façade. The depth of the palazzo is limited to one room in the middle part. At least the mezzanine still has frescoes from the settecento; in addition, a fresco by Giandomenico Tiepolo with the "Apotheosis of Giorgio Contarini" and a painted wooden ceiling are conserved. Giorgio Contarini was the first duke of Jaffa. The façade proportions are quite unusual. A vera di pozzo can still be found in the courtyard.
Most likely the Contarini burried in the Church of Madonna dell' Orto lived here.
Today, the palace has a clerical use and is divided in the middle. The right part is converted to a hospital.
A drawing by Francesco Guardi shows the state of the once famous large garden in the Settecento. Despite many alterations, one can gain still an impression today.
The so-called "Casin degli Spiriti" is located towards the Sacca della Misericordia, named after the intellectuals wich once met each other here. It is one of the earliest casini which are conserved. During the Seventies it still was in a bad state, but it heavily restored lately (new roof etc).
Unfortunately nearly no resources are available on this interesting complex. Together with the Palazzo Minelli Spada on the left, the palace constitutes a great ensemble and demonstrates that the now poor area around the Madonna dell'Orto once was a quarter inhabited by the rich and noble.

Additional pictures:

The so-called Casin degli Spiriti
46 kB (75x77)

Related buildings


Bassi (1976) pp. 51, 302-305

External resources

Acknowledgements for help/information:

"Superiore" dell' Istituto Cottolengo


© 1999-2007 J.-Ch. Rößler
Venice architecture - palaces

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