Belonging to one of the apostolic families, he was the son of Giovanni, commander of the fleet in the Holy Land during the first crusade (1096 -1099), nephew of the 33rd Doge Vitale Michiel I and father of the 38th Doge Vitale Michiel II.

The dogeship of Domenico, which received the title of Venecie, Dalmacie atque Croacie dux from Constantinople, set out to conquest of territories of the Near East following the crusading expeditions. The Arsenale was able to prepare between 40 and 100 galleys in 6 months during such period of military importance.

Therefore, with the excuse of a possible absence for military commitments, the Doge imposed an edict (1121): in spite of the legislation that banned co-regents and lineages, he thought of restoring a sort of absolute power, establishing that, in the absence of the Doge from the city, one of the sons or relatives had to take charge of the government and of political and economic affairs. Then, feeling old and tired, he abdicated and shut himself up in the Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore. He died a few days later.

His remains were placed in San Giorgio, but his ashes were dispersed and the marbles of his sepulcher were given another use when the friars decided to rebuild the old church (1566 -1610). 

However, the friars were forced to restore the monument inside the church by the Senate (19 July 1635), perhaps based on a design by Longhena, with a bust of the Doge by Battista Pagliari (1637).

Domenico is considered one of the greatest Doges of the Republic and is rightly commemorated in the Panteon Veneto with a bust by the sculptor Luigi Piccoli, kept in Palazzo Ducale.


Images gallery

Engraving depicting the doge Domenico Michiel.
The emblem of the doge Domenico Michiel

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