The Fondaco dei Tedeschi was built from 1505 to 1508 after the original building burnt down. The facade is a Renaissance design and had frescos by Giorgione. The majority did not survive, though remnants can be seen in the Accademia Museum and Ca' d'Oro. The building was used by the German merchant community continuously from the 13th century until the Napoleonic invasion of 1797. One of the strongest and most influential of foreign groups residing in Venice, the Church of San Bartolomeo is nearby and featured a altarpiece by Durer commissioned by the community when the artist visited the city. A fondaco acted as a restricted living and storage area for communities of foreigners in Venice. There were living quarters on the upper floors and storage facilities for their wares below. There was a curfew imposed by the Republic. While this might seem restrictive, it negated any trouble that might have arisen between ethnic groups. Eventually the Fondaco housed the main Postal Office for Venice; in recent years those offices have moved and building sat empty. In 2008, the building was sold to the Benetton Group who asked the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to plan a new shopping centre to be incorporated into the Renaissance building. Benetton promised to transfer 6 million Euro to the city budget in exchange for building permits handed over by the end of 2012.This caused protests among the groups campaigning for preservation of the Italy's historical heritage. As of 2013 there has been no movement on this project.
- Lorenzetti, Venice and Its Lagoon: Historical-Artistic Guide (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1961) as translated and with supplementary content by Taryn Marie Zarrillo, 2012/13