Fondaco dei Tedeschi
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi has been a part of the history of Venice for as many as eight centuries. First built in 1228 and then rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1508, it was converted into a Post Office in 1808 and served as such for almost one century.
As its name suggests – its translation literally meaning “warehouse of the Germans” – in medieval times the building was used as a trading post by German merchants who stocked here their goods arriving from Nuremberg and Augsburg. The building was then a mute witness of the Venetian mercantile era.
Located at the foot of the famous Rialto Bridge, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of Venice’s largest and most recognizable buildings due, among other things, to its architecture, which sets it apart from most other buildings overlooking the Grand Canal. It has four storeys facing onto a central courtyard (now covered by a steel and glass structure) housing a medieval well. On the ground floor, five large arches enclose a portico where goods were once unloaded from the Grand Canal while, on the upper floors, a rows of single or double windows decorate the façade.