Barbarigo family

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The Barbarigo were a patrician family of the Republic of Venice.

Biography[edit]

The family originated from the Istrian area (according to the tradition, their ancestral place was Muggia, near Trieste). Also according to the family legend, in 880 AD one Arrigo won a battle against Saracen pirates and returned victoriously home with the beards ("barba" in Italian) of the defeated enemies, thus originating the family name - Barbarigo - and the coat of arms, representing six beards.

The Barbarigo were among the most influent Venetian families and have generated bishops, cardinals and patriarchs, including Gregorio Barbarigo, who was born in the Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto in 1625. The Barbarigo founded in 955 the first church of Santa Maria del Giglio, known as Santa Maria Zobenigo at the time.

The family remained part of the Venetian patricians after the Serrata del Maggior Consiglio in 1297.

Two members of the family became dogi of Venice. The first, Marco, ruled the Republic in 1485-86 and was the first Doge to be crowned on the Giants Staircase of Palazzo Ducale. His reign was so short due to a fatal wrangle he had during a senate meeting with his brother and successor, Agostino. Agostino Barbarigo reigned from 1486 until 1501, the period in which Catherine Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, donated her kingdom to Venice. It was him who introduced the habit of kissing the Doge's hand.

The Barbarigo family died out in 1843, with Giovanni Filippo Barbarigo, who died childless.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Spreti, Vittorio (1928–36). Enciclopedia storico-nobiliare italiana 8. Milan: Forni. p. 156.