Fondaco dei Tedeschi (Warehouse of the Germans) was built around the same time as the Fondaco dei Turchi (Warehouse of the Turks), in the first half of the 13th century. The palace was the landing point for goods brought by the German merchants from Nuremberg, Judenburg and Augsburg.
The original palace was destroyed by a devastating fire on the night of January 28, 1505. Soon after, the Venetian Senate decided to rebuild it on a project by Girolamo Tedesco. The reconstruction took place between 1505 and 1508.
The building was owned for a long time by the Italian Post Office. In 2008, the palace was purchased by the Benetton Group for an amount of 53 million euros, and was restored by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The palace was converted into a shopping center and was opened to the public on October 1, 2016.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a large building with a square-plan and three levels around an internal courtyard, covered by a glass and steel structure.
The facade overlooking the Grand Canal has, on the ground floor, five large round arcades that form a portico. The second floor has a row of mullioned windows, to which the smaller quadrangular windows of the floors above correspond symmetrically. On top, the facade is decorated by merlons.
In 1508, the facade overlooking the Grand Canal was frescoed by Giorgione and Tiziano Vecellio, of which only a few fragments survided, now kept in the Ca’ d’Oro.
TIP: Every day, between 9.45 am and 7.15 pm, you can visit the rooftop terrace of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. The admission is FREE, but because the maximum capacity of the terrace is 70 people, it’s better to make a booking in advance here.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest vaporetto stop is Rialto, located about 100 meters away, on the waterbus Lines 1 and 2. To find the palace on foot, use the map below.