The ducal dignity rarely passed out of a circle of specially old and distinguished families.
The kingly power in Poland, like the ducal power at Venice, had been so narrowed that Poland, though she still kept a king, called herself a republic no less than Venice.
At Z is the treasury of St Mark, which was originally one of the towers belonging to the old ducal palace; E, site of old houses; G, clocktower; H, old palace of procurators; J, old library; M, two columns; N, Ponte della Paglia; 0, Bridge of Sighs; W, Giants' Staircase; X, sacristy of St Mark; Y, Piazzetta.
During the earlier years of the republic the ducal palace was frequently destroyed and rebuilt.
The collegiate church (Stiftskirche) dates from about 1340, and contains a number of fine ducal monuments.