Legacies left by French court in the 19th century lead to the demolition of the Church of San Geminiano, jewel of Jacopo Sansovino, to make room for the monument that was to become the new representative office of the new sovereigns.
The monumental staircase is the entranceway to the important Correr Museum of Venetian History and Art.
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The derogatory name of ‘Napoleonic Wing’ derives from the decision of Bonaparte to demolish the church of San Geminiano (a very old place of worship which was rebuilt in the XVI century by Jacopo Sansovino) in favor of extending the new Procuratie; however, it seems that this project was carried out to satisfy the then Viceroy and tenant, Bonaparte’s stepson Eugene de Beauharnais.
This building was to become the representative seat of the new sovereigns. Under the Austrian domination, even the Habsburg Court was also hosted here during its numerous visits to Venice.
The Napoleonic Wing is composed of the double monumental façade, an enchanting porch, a spacious staircase and lavish Ballroom; these areas were designed by the architects G.A. Antolini, Giuseppe Suns (who was tasked with carrying out the works) and Lorenzo Santi.
The rooms were painted by the Venetian painter Giuseppe Borsato, according to a careful reinterpretation of the Empire style, while the ceiling of the staircase is decorated with a 19th century fresco by Sebastiano Santi depicting the Glory of Neptune.
The building still retains many of the distinctive traits of architecture, decorations and furnishings typical of the Napoleonic and Habsburg periods.