La Punta della Dogana o Dogana da Mar it is that building that acts as a watershed between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal and stretches into the San Marco Basin as if it were the bow of a ship.
The seventeenth-century building, with its classic triangular plan, is wedged in the San Marco basin, becoming part of the best views in the world. At the tip rises, as we said, the Dogana da Mar, in the middle of the San Marco basin, the ancient fulcrum of the city’s activity.
At the punta della Dogana, at the time of the Republic, due to its position at the entrance of the Grand Canal, all the operations related to duties and freight took place and then there were the offices for the payment of customs duties for goods entering Venice, before reaching the Fondaco houses, the Fondaci which were located along the main waterway of Venice and was also one of the defensive points of Venice.
In this place there was a tower with high crenellations, clearly visible in the ancient plants of the city, and at night the mouth of the Grand Canal was closed with large chains that, starting from the Customs, reached the opposite bank.
The building, which we can see today, was built in 1677, designed by Giuseppe Benoni.
On the turret stands the Palla d’oro, supported by two atlases and on which is located the statue of fortune called Occasio, which, inserted on a pivot, moves at the breath of the wind. It is the work of the sculptor Bernardo Falcone, who has masterfully interpreted the mutability of the goddess blindfolded in this continuous, varied, changeable, unpredictable movement. In 2009 the complex was completely restored by the Francois Pinault Foundation, designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, to be transformed into a modern center of contemporary art.