This corridor leads over the Bridge of Sighs, which was built in 1614 to link the Doge’s Palace to the structure intended to house the New Prisons. Enclosed and covered on all sides, the bridge contains two separate corridors that run next to each other. That which modern-day visitors use linked the Prisons to the chambers of the Magistrato alle Leggi and the Quarantia Criminal [Criminal Appeal Court] on the piano nobile of the Palace.
“The Doge’s Palace, Venice, has façades which date from 1309-1424, designed by Giovanni and Bartolomeo Buon. [Bono] The palace, started in the ninth century, several times rebuilt, and completed in the Renaissance period, forms part of that great scheme of town-planning which was carried out through successive centuries. The façades, with a total length of nearly 152 m (500 ft), have open arcades in the two lower storeys, and the third storey was rebuilt after a fire in the sixteenth century, so as to extend over the arcades. This upper storey is faced with white and rose-coloured marble, resembling ornate windows and finished with a lace-like parapet of oriental cresting. The arcade columns, which originally stood on a stylobate of three steps, now rise from the ground without bases, and the sturdy continuous tracery of the second tier of arcades lends an appearance of strength to the open arches. The capitals of the columns, particularly the angle capital which was eulogised by Ruskin in The Stones of Venice, are celebrated for the delicate carving in low-grained marble. The whole scheme of columned and pointed arcades, with its combination of carved capitals and long horizontal lines of open tracery, is of that unique design which can only be termed Venetian Gothic.” p. 506. It is currently a museum.