The Bargello National Museum
The Bargello Museum is located in the Palazzo del Bargello and is one of the oldest buildings in Florence dating back to 1255.
Initially, the building was the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà. In the sixteenth century, the building became the residence of the Bargello and was used as a prison during the entire 18th century.
The word bargello appears to come from the late Latin bargillus meaning “castle” or “fortified tower”. The name Bargello was extended to the building which was the office of the captain.
The walls of the courtyard are covered with dozens Coat of Arms of the various Podestà and judges. These Coat of Arms are from the second half of the 16th century and are mostly made of sandstone and terracotta.
There are statues to be admired even under the loggia when you walk through the courtyard. The courtyard is plain yet so beautiful partly because of the Coat of Arm plaques but also viewing the upper loggia and its beautiful fresco ceilings. (second picture)
The building became a National Museum in the mid-19th century and today it is the setting for a remarkable collection of Renaissance sculpture and works of art.
The bust of Michelangelo was commissioned by his nephew, Leonardo Buonarroti for the family tomb.
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