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Venice was an independent State and a maritime Republic run by a mercantile oligarchy for over one thousand years. The Doges were its leaders, each one elected for a lifetime. Their residence was the Palace of the Doges. In 1797, the last  Doge (#120) surrendered to the Napoleonic Army and Venice lost its independence.

Venice was an independent State and a maritime Republic run by a mercantile oligarchy for over one thousand years. The Doges were its leaders, each one elected for a lifetime. Their residence was the Palace of the Doges. In 1797, the last Doge (#120) surrendered to the Napoleonic Army and Venice lost its independence.

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Keywords:
Venice
Italy
Europe
St Mark's Church
Doge
byzantine art
oligarchy
elections
Napoleon
independence
Venetian