16 In Central Italy/ General Info/ Italy

Church Orsanmichele and Museum

Church and museum Orsanmichele

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Church Orsanmichele (and Museum)

Church Orsanmichele has quite an interesting beginning. It was built by the city guilds, which encompassed both civil and religious functions. Orsanmichele was constructed in 1336, on the site of San Michele monastery’s kitchen garden. Originally it was a grain market and was converted into a church from 1380 to 1404 and used as a chapel for all the cities’ craft and trade guilds.

The Interior

The interior of Orsanmichele preserves its late gothic appearance almost intact: its square layout and the positioning of the piers recall the arrangement of the original open loggia. This explains the unusual position of the Madonna Delle Grazie altar, not in the center but to the right.

Church Orsanmichele

Church Orsanmichele

To the left of the nave (above) is the votive altar of St. Anne, built by order of the Signoria in 1379, with a marble group of St. Anne, the Virgin, and Child by Francesco da Sangallo (c. 1526).

The Exterior

The City of Florence in the 14th century ordered each guild to fill one of the fourteen exterior niches with a freestanding statue of its patron saint. Each guild strove to outdo the others by commissioning original sculptures from famous artists, such as Donatello Ghiberti, Giambologna, and Verrocchio. The three richest guilds opted to make their figures in the costly bronze, which cost approximately ten times the amount of the stone figures.

Church Orsanmichele

All the original statues have been replaced with copies and moved to Florentine museums. Donatello’s St. George (1417) from the Armourers’ and Swordmakers’ tabernacle was moved to the Bargello in 1892 and his St. Louis of Toulouse (1433) is now in the Museum of Santa Croce. Eight of the sculptures are currently in the Museum of Orsanmichele, which is part of the upper floor of the church.

The Museum

Here she sits (the copy) on the exterior of the church:

Madonna della Rossa outside Church Orsanmichele

Fresco in the Museum Orsanmichele

After visiting the museum, take a few more steps up to the open-top floor to see the amazing sights of the city below.

Views from Orsanmichael, The Duomo

Pin to PinterestChurch Orsanmichael, Florence, Italy

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  • Reply
    July 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    You have some great photos and information in this post. grazie

  • Reply
    July 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Absolutely beautiful photos. I love your narration through the church. I felt like I’ve just visited! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 28, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I love the architechture of old traditional church buildings.

  • Reply
    Sandy Dobbs
    July 29, 2017 at 12:41 am

    What incredible architecture! You took really great photos. I would really love to go!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Wow, the Church Orsanmichele is beautiful, such ornate ceilings. Would love to visit! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 29, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Everything looks so pretty and your pictures are great! Would love to go there.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Love historical places it so charming to learn about new museums and palaces! Nice one..

  • Reply
    July 29, 2017 at 5:14 am

    Florence truly has a lot to offer. Rich in history and stunning architecture. Love this particular church.

  • Reply
    July 29, 2017 at 7:22 am

    I’ve not visited Florence but will definitely add this to the list when I go. The interior of the church is beautiful and love the stained glass windows. The views at the top of the museum are stunning. Excellent pics!

  • Reply
    Janine Thomas
    July 29, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    What great shots of the church. I have just returned from Florence and it was lovely reading this as it took me straight back!

  • Reply
    Ambuj Saxena
    July 30, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Wow what a blog post! Stunning pics and an intriguing history to accompany a place of worship! Thanks for delving into the history of the church cum museum!

  • Reply
    July 30, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Beautiful photos and information I love Italy. Florence is one of my FAV cities. Great Post

  • Reply
    Madison Taylor
    July 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Wow… so stunning. Feels like I was there with you! I love the historical aspect to this post!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 1:20 am

    WOW that looks incredible! Love your pictures, those statues are so incredibly detailed aren’t they!

  • Reply
    Rahat Arora
    July 31, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Everything looks so pretty and your pictures are great, nice post

  • Reply
    Contrarian Travel Blogger Geemiz
    July 31, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Churches have mostly the best architecture both interior and exterior and Church Orsanmichele is no exception.

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