The Doge's Palace was the seat of the Republic of Venice for centuries before it became part of Italy in 1866. The current palace was constructed between 1309 and 1424. Two facades of the palace border St. Mark's Square and a third facade looks towards the Venetian Lagoon. The last facade is connected to Venice's infamous prison by the even more infamous Bridge of Sighs. Each column of the palace is unique from the others. Between the ninth and tenth columns, death sentences and executions were carried out. Today, the palace serves as a museum. In addition to being able to view the Doge's apartments, government chambers and the prison cells, the palace also contains a magnificent art collection. Climbing the enormous staircase, the Scala die Giganti, you come to the second floor and look out on the courtyard and the massive statues of Neptune and Mars. It is here that I composed this image of the backs of the statues looking out to the courtyard and the ornate other side of the palace.