Blowing up the Parthenon
|Entrance to the Arsenale|
Francesco Morosini (1619-94), a member of a prominent noble family, spent much of his military career leading, mostly successful, campaigns in Greece against the Turks. He was known as Il Peloponnesiaco in honour of his victories in the Peloponnese peninsula.
|Doge Francesco Morosini, Palazzo Ducale|
An attaché of the Swedish field commander General Otto Wilhelm Königsmarck, whose forces were aiding the Venetians, later wrote: "How it dismayed His Excellency to destroy the beautiful temple which had existed three thousand years!". By contrast Morosini described the action, in his report to the Venetian government, as a "fortunate shot".
To make matters worse, Morosini then tried to loot the horses and chariot of Athena from the west pediment. The sculptures fell and smashed into pieces. He had to content himself with two stone lions, which he plundered from elsewhere. Morosini was elected doge in 1688 and in 1692 the lions were placed outside the entrance to the Arsenale, where they stand to this day.
|Campo de l'Arsenal|
Francesco Morosini was born in Campo Santo Stefano, where his family palace still stands. He is buried in his parish church, where his grave, in the centre of the nave, is marked by a suitably splendid bronze monument, the work of Filippo Parodi.
|Doge Francesco Morosini, Flagpole, Campo Santo Stefano|
|Triumphal arch of Doge Francesco Morosini, Palazzo Ducale.|