The Palazzo Ducale di Venezia (The Doge's Palace), was the seat of the government of Venice for centuries. As well as being the home of the Doge (the elected ruler of Venice) it was the venue for its law courts, its civil administration and bureaucracy and — until its relocation across the Bridge of Sighs — the city jail. The current palace was largely constructed from 1309 to 1424. The palace was badly damaged by fire in 1574 and in the subsequent rebuilding work it was decided to respect the original gothic style.
The Piombi (The Leads in English) is a former prison adjacent to the Doge's Palace in Venice. The name refers to the upper part of the building under a roof that was covered with slabs of lead. In winter, these slabs let the cold pass and they acted as a catalyst in the summer heat, imposing harsh conditions for inmates. In 1755, Casanova made a famous escape from the prison.