Fondaco dei Tedeschi

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Fondaco dei Tedeschi

The Fondaco dei Tedeschi (from Arabic   Funduq , "warehouse of the Germans") was the branch of German traders on the Grand Canal in Venice , right next to the Rialto Bridge in the San Marco sestiere .


Canaletto : Canal Grande with Rialto Bridge and Fondaco (left) around 1750
Landing point with arcades

In the area of ​​the municipality of San Bartolomeo in the lagoon city of Venice there were German merchants and craftsmen looking for work from an early age. A document in the Venetian archive in December 1213, for example, names a goldsmith "Bernardus Teotonicus". On the basis of the sales contract with the Venetian council for the ground floor, some historians date the beginnings of the Fondaco to the year 1222, others go back to 1225, but most of them from the year 1228: on December 5, 1228 the building was first mentioned in a document. The name "Fondaco dei Tedeschi" was first used in 1268. A facility with a similar function probably existed in Venice before 1200, albeit not in a single building. After a fire on the night of January 27th to 28th 1505, Venice paid for the reconstruction (1508) according to a design by Frà Giovanni Giocondo under the supervision of Antonio Abbondi and had the facade painted by Tizian and Giorgione with frescoes , which are not today more can be seen. The German merchants in Venice in the “Fondaco dei Tedeschi” ordered a large painting from Albrecht Dürer for the St. Bartholomew's Church, the Rosary Festival .

In the 19th century the leading figure among these merchants was Vittorio Tedeschi , who had good connections to the Transylvanian (Transylvanian) nobility and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

View from the Rialto Bridge : the Fondaco on the right

From 1870 to 2011 the building housed the main post office of Venice. It was sold to the Benetton Group in 2008 . The new owner wanted the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to convert the complex into a shopping and exhibition center. These plans met with resistance from the people of Venice and were finally rejected by the National Committee on Architecture at the end of May 2012. In doing so, he fully complied with the recommendations of the scientific committee for architecture and landscape of the National Ministry of Culture and the Venetian monument authorities. The National Committee saw in the planned, massive changes to the building structure (including the construction of an additional upper floor by partially demolishing the roof, additional installation of escalators in the inner courtyard and the installation of a floating dock on the Grand Canal) a strong "anti-historical character". historical significance of such a building “is not appropriate. The protests led to extensive rescheduling by OMA , but ultimately the building was reopened in October 2016 as a shopping center operated by the luxury company LVMH .

Economical meaning

Goods were loaded and unloaded through the open arcades on the ground floor. The residents were under Venetian supervision. Like many other ideas, the Venetians had also adopted the concept of a trading house and even the name from the Orient, which they knew well and where they were forced to live and trade in “Fondachi”. The main purpose of the concentration was to collect a customs fee , the tassa doganale . The foreign merchants from Northern and Central Europe had to live in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and set up their office, i.e. their own warehouse. After their arrival in the lagoon city, the boatmen were strictly forbidden to drive the merchants to any other place. The residents of Venice had also been forbidden to take in merchants; however, they did not strictly adhere to this requirement. Other visitors who were not merchants were free to choose accommodation in the city.

Until the 17th and 19th centuries, the term “Germans” also included Hungarians, Austrians and Flemings . The sole use of the Fondaco was granted to them. There were two tables in the Fondaco for meals, some of which also reflected the ranking: The Regensburg table was considered the second division; it included merchants from Regensburg , Augsburg , Ulm , Biberach, Ravensburg , Constance , Vienna , Enns , Linz , Gmunden , Salzburg and Laibach . The first division, the Nürnberger Tafel, included the residents of Nuremberg , Cologne , Basel , Strasbourg , Speyer , Worms , Mainz , Frankfurt am Main and Lübeck . Well-known dealer families who traded in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi were among others. a. Imhoff , Koler , Kreß , Mendel and Paumgartner from Nuremberg , Fugger and Höchstetter from Augsburg .

Merchants mainly imported spices from Venice: saffron , pepper , ginger , nutmeg , cloves , cinnamon and sugar. The Nuremberg Stock Exchange served as a link in trade between Italy and other European economic centers. Also foods that were known and loved in the Mediterranean, such as B. olive oil , almonds, figs, lemons and oranges, jams and wines such as Malvasier and Chierchel, found their way from the Adriatic to Nuremberg. In addition, there were other valuable products such as corals, pearls, precious stones, products of glass manufacture on Murano and the textile industry, such as B. silk fabrics, cotton and damask cloths , velvet, brocade , gold thread, camelot and boccasin. Paper and books rounded off the range on the intellectual side.


Web links

Commons : Fondaco dei Tedeschi  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bernardus Teotonicus. In: Yearbook of Munich History , Volume 2, 1888, p. 479.
  2. Wolfgang Stromer: Bernardus Teotonicus ei rapporti commerciali tra la Germania Meridionale e Venezia prima della istituzione del Fondaco dei Tedeschi (= Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani. Quaderni , Volume 8). Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani, Venezia 1978, 33 pages.
  3. ^ A b c Daniela Crescenzio: Italian walks in Nuremberg . Volume I: Nuremberg, Venice of the North . 1st edition. Verlag IT-INERARIO, Unterhaching 2011, ISBN 978-3-9813046-3-3 .
  4. Gunter Schweikhart: The art of the Renaissance. ISBN 978-3-412-16300-6 , p. 52 ( limited preview in Google Book Search, accessed January 27, 2011).
  5. ( Memento from April 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  6. ^ Claudia Bodin: American Folk Art Museum - New York: No United Colors of Venice . ( Memento of the original from February 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., May 11, 2011, accessed January 10, 2017 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. ^ The Fondaco and the United Colors of Benetton: Koolhaas project failed . ( Memento of the original from March 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: ', May 30, 2012, accessed on January 10, 2017. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Fondaco dei Tedeschi reopens: pure luxury  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Toter Link /   In: La Nuova di Venezia. September 29, 2016, accessed January 10, 2017.
  9. Mark Häberlein: The Fugger: History of a family from Augsburg (1367-1650). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 978-3-17-018472-5 , p. 52.

Coordinates: 45 ° 26 ′ 17.2 ″  N , 12 ° 20 ′ 12 ″  E