The Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a historic building close to the Rialto Bridge in Venice that has been converted into a luxury shopping centre. This 13th century building used to be the building where the Germans (Tedeschi) did their trading.
Fondaco dei Tedeschi Venice
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Calle del Fontego dei Tedeschi – 30100 Venezia. Opening Hours: From 10.00 to 19.00. (NB: Due to the Covid crisis, opening hours may differ from those indicated here).
History and description
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi was originally built in the 13th century. In those days, it served as a mooring place for German traders who brought merchandise to the city. However, it had to be completely rebuilt after a fire in 1505.
The Venetian Senate, who paid for this reconstruction, forbade the use of marble decorations. However, Giorgione and Titian were hired to paint the outside walls with frescoes. Giorgione was (still) better known, so he was allowed to do the central part of the facade. Titian was assigned the sides. In the Ca d’Oro some of these paintings can now be seen, although due to the humidity unfortunately not in very good condition.
Over the centuries, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi has been used for various ends. Sometimes it was necessary to change its structure. The side towers have been demolished and the courtyard is now covered. In the middle of this courtyard you can still see a beautiful antique well.
The word fondaco is derived from the Arabic funduq, and can mean both “warehouse” and “hotel”. Tedeschi are Germans, who already used the building in 1228. As these Germans were important trading partners, customs formalities were immediately completed in the building.
Nowadays the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is an exclusive shopping centre with 7000 m2 of retail space. It also offers beautiful views over the canal and the Rialto bridge.