and playground of a media magnate and his friends.
A while back some friends of mine toured the place and came away with these images and video clips.
There are many themes in the building, but for obvious reasons,
we'll concentrate our focus on the section that was designed to mimic
"the Doge's Palace".
Above, you can see an external shot.
Now here's a short video clip from inside one of the rooms:
The ceiling of the room was worth a photo.
Here's another sweep of the first room:
Next, they entered a more decadently appointed room. Here's a snap:
Plus a video sweep of that room:
A closer look at the ceiling reveals some serious detailwork:
Gazing out the window, the architecture sure looks familiar, but green pastures and palm trees, while beautiful, seem out of place.
Finally, sitting atop a doorway of that second room was a familiar sight:
Traditionally the winged lion of St. Mark either holds an open book (indicating a time of peace), or holds a sword and sometimes also a closed book (either in times of war, or to represent some thing or place that is military in nature). In this case our favorite lion sits on the book.
I can't help but wonder what that means.
The practice of theming architecture to look like Venice is something we've seen before.
Of course there's The Venetian in Las Vegas:
I also featured a lesser known location in Texas:
No doubt some folks out there will find the commercial signage combined with timeless archtiecture to be somewhere between irksome and downright offensive.
As for the photos and video above, I believe this re-creation was done more out of admiration, and was not a commercial effort.