Fontego dei Tedeschi
Here’s Venice’s Fontego (or Fondaco) dei Tedeschi all dressed up for Christmas. It was built in 1505–1508 to replace an earlier building dating to 1288 which had been destroyed in a fire. The purpose of the building was to house the German merchants living and working in Venice. The would live on the upper floors whilst doing business and selling their wares from the lower ones.
It lost this function after the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 and at the beginning of the 20th Century was converted into Venice’s main Post Office. The post moved out in 2008 and it was then handed over to the Benetton group who converted it into a premium department store, bringing the building’s commercial use full circle.
One of the upsides of the development was the construction of a new altana or viewing platform on the roof from which you can admire fabulous, never-seen-before views of the Rialto area.