Palace of Prisons

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The Palace of Prisons, together with the famous Palazzo Ducale Bridge of Sighs, which crosses the Rio di Palazzo, is the work of the architect Antonio da Ponte, who repeatedly, starting from 1589, construction started in 1563 by Giovanni Antonio Rusconi; completed by Antonio Contino and Thomas around 1614, it was called to partially compensate for the prisons of the Palazzo Ducale.


While the prisoners were forced into "camerotti" places along the river or overlooking the internal courtyards, three halls on the Riva degli Schiavoni overlooking the Bacino di San Marco and housed one of the oldest magistrates of the Republic of Venice (attested from the middle of thirteenth century), the Lords of the Night Criminal. These, six in number to represent the districts of the city, had not only to monitor and police, with vast expertise, but also functions of a judicial nature, which included education process and the conduct of interrogations of defendants and witnesses.


In the eighteenth century the above premises were used as the prison infirmary and home for all those suspicions and suspects who voluntarily presented themselves to justice. Here, during the Austrian domination, were relegated also (as recalled plates still visible) and Nicholas Daniele Manin Tommaseo, then taken from the cell 17 March 1848, following the popular uprising, to be called to form the interim government of city.