CategoryChurches, Fine Arts
Good To KnowFree Admission, Open also Mondays
TipGreat views over Florence and the Duomo from the museum’s top-floor (open only on Mondays)
Orsanmichele is a non-conventional church in the centre of Florence. The building originally served as a grain market and municipal storage facility, which was then consecrated for Christian worship in the 14th century. Chutes for the grain inside the church’s pillars tell the story of the building’s previous function.
The building consists of three floors. The arches on the ground floor originally formed the loggia of the grain market, but now house the church with a magnificent marble tabernacle of the Madonna delle Grazie.
The Orsanmichele Museum is on the first and second floor, the former offices of the grain market and the city’s municipal grain storage. The first floor has on display 11 of the 14 original statues that were placed in the niches surrounding the building, now containing replicas. The statues represent patron saints of guilds and were made by some of the greatest Florentine masters of the 15th century, like Donatello and Ghirlandaio.
On the second floor there are forty small statues representing saints and prophets. These statues come from the top of the columns on the outside of the building, and have been severely damaged by the elements. But the real attraction of this floor is the stunning view that it offers over the city of Florence and the famous Duomo.