Casino di Venezia, Oldest Casino, Italian Renaissance architecture, Building
Casino di Venezia – the oldest Casino is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture
21 May 2020
When you say casinos, you could think of many cities, like Paris, London, Monte Carlo, and of course Las Vegas. But that wasn’t always the case.
If we go way back in history, we find the Renaissance, which was a period of incredibly valuable achievements in European art and culture. Architecture, music, fine arts, literature, science, technology, and much more had a historical development in the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe.
And as intriguing as it may sound, a building from that period is currently the officially oldest casino in the world. This is Casino di Venezia – the oldest casino to date. It was opened in 1638, almost 400 years ago. Venice is Italy’s casino capital, and is said that the games of Baccarat and Bingo were invented in this country in the 15th century. Also, the word “casino” has Italian origins.
Just to have an idea about how old is this casino in Venice, other historic casinos, like Casino de Spa in Belgium and Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, are around 255, respectively 185 years old.
How it come to this incredible achievement?
The casino is a Renaissance palace built in the 15th and 16th centuries by the Italian architect Mauro Codussi, designer of some of the most beautiful churches in Venice. The city itself is one of Italy’s architectural masterpieces.
Some of the ceiling frescoes and paintings in the casino are a few centuries old, and the interior has also opulent sculptures and chandeliers. The building features classically-inspired columns facing the Grand Canal, and two French doors on the lower level.
The casino was initially a theatre called Theatre Saint Moses. It had a wing for gambling, to be used during the intermission of plays. Fast forward, one century after Casino din Venezia opened, there were more than 120 casinos in the city.
Gambling has obviously changed a lot since the 17th century. These days, all the casino games are just one click away. For example, Unibet Casino offer online casino games, slots and classic table games together with generous welcome bonus and a lot of exciting promotions. It offers Blackjack, Roulette, Dead or Alive, Divine Fortune, Cleopatra, Starbust, Gonzo’s Quest, Jacks or Better and Jackpot Shores.
Recent history of Casino di Venezia
Back in Italy, the oldest casino in the world can be found on the Grand Canal and just 20 minutes walking from the great Piazza San Marco – St. Mark’s Square –, with its impressive Basilica.
The palace in which the casino lays is called Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, which was home to an Italian royalty. The place was one of the favorite gateways for the famous composer Richard Wagner, in the late 19th century. Later, after World War Two, the city bought the building and renovated it. In 1959, it was opened as an official casino.
In present day, there are hundreds of ways to gamble in the casino, from blackjack to poker and roulette. There are also over 600 slot machines.
Apart from the casino, the building features the Wagner Museum, which was opened in 1995 in honor of the German composer who lived there in the last part of his life, until his death. Inside its walls, visitors can also have an exclusivist dinner at The Wagner, the restaurant which honors the same composer.
The casino has been used for Hollywood movie sets and for Venice Films Festivals events. The movie Casino Royal (2006), probably the highest acclaimed James Bond picture, was filmed in Venice also, and the casino was very important in its development. The city was the main Italian filming location, and big part of the movie’s ending was filmed here.
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