Italy

Palazzo Vecchio

Powerful battlements, the clock tower of the Palazzo Vecchio and David's sculpture by Michelangelo at the entrance are known throughout the world. The old palace was decorated by the most famous Italian masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vasari and Ghirlandaio. The museum’s collection includes Amati and Stradivarius violins.

Old Palace (Palazzo Vecchio), photo by Daniela Smerieri

The Palazzo Vecchio, the Romanesque Old Palace in Piazza Signoria, has been Florence's most important public building for many centuries. Today, most of this building is occupied by the museum, however, municipal authorities still work in it, this is the town hall. From the terrace of the top floor of the palace you can enjoy views of Florence.

The history of the construction of the palace

In 1298, the rulers of Florence decided: to build a new town hall, corresponding to the status of the city. The palace was erected in 1299, on the site of several demolished buildings that previously belonged to the noble family of Uberti. He led the project Arnolfo di Cambio.

The newly built building was called Palagio Novo - the New Palace (it was the "new" for the priori of Florence). In the 15th century, the palace changed its name to the Palazzo della Signoria. In the XVI century, the duke Cosimo I settled in its walls, and the building was renamed the Palazzo Dukkale - "Ducal Palace". The modern name Palazzo Vecchio was entrenched only in the II half of the XVI century.

Building architecture

The building has an unusual appearance for secular architecture - it was built in the form of a defensive fort with a watchtower and battlements. At that time, the city authorities were afraid of sudden intrusions, so the palace had such a formidable and impressive appearance.

Arnolfo Tower and heraldic symbols in niches under arches, photo by Giulia-Soni

The facade of the palazzo, made of brutal brickwork, is divided into three levels and cut through by two rows of Gothic arched windows. Window openings are separated by bindings in the form of shamrocks decorated with bas-reliefs. These architectural decorations were created by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo in the 15th century to give the palace a more secular look. The battlement around the perimeter of the building is supported by arched cornices (once these arches were assigned the role of defensive embrasures). In the niches under the arches you can see the heraldic symbols of the nine guilds that headed the Florentine Republic, and above them there are a number of loophole windows.

Lion Gate, photo by Papparazziful

An elegant blue pediment with a monogram of Jesus and two golden lions is installed above the main portal of the palazzo. These figures gave the name to the entrance to the town hall - the Lion's Gate.

Arnolfo Tower

Rectangular in plan, the Arnolfo Tower was built later than the palace, in 1314. This building rises above the ground to a height of 94 meters, its top is crowned with an openwork turret, and the facade is decorated with hours of work by Giorgio Lederle. The clock was installed in the XVII century and is still working.

Patio

Patio, photo by acatala2

The courtyard of the building was designed by Mikelozzo. An elegant patio with carved columns and high arched vaults was built in 1453. The courtyard was decorated in the Renaissance style. A fountain decorated with the figure of a dolphin by Verrocchio was installed in the center. Opposite him in a niche of the wall was a statue of Pierino da Vinci - "Samson and the Philistine." The walls of the courtyard were decorated with views of Austrian cities, and the coats of arms of the Florentine guilds were depicted on lunettes.

The interior of the palace

The original furnishings of the palace were mostly lost - some pieces of furniture and interior items were preserved. The interior of the Palazzo Vecchio in the XVI century has undergone major changes.

Salon five hundred

Salon five hundred, photo by oriana.italy

The most luxurious room of the palace is Salone dei Cinquecento. "Salon five hundred" at the end of the XV century was intended for meetings of the Great Council. This spacious room was designed and built by Simone del Polaiolo. Initially, the walls were painted with frescoes by Leonardo and Michelangelo, but during the reign of Cosimo I the Medici, the priceless painting was destroyed for ideological reasons. (Currently, restorers are working on the restoration of Leonardo's fresco, which is hidden under a later painting.)

The new murals were painted by Giorgio Vasari with his students. The beautiful cassette tape is painted with battle scenes in the genre of “the exploits of Hercules”, glorifying the victories of Duke Cosimo I. From the works of the great Michelangelo, only the sculptural composition “Genius trampling brute force” has been preserved. Other plastic design of the hall was created by the sculptor Baccio Bandinelli.

Cabinet Francesco I Medici

Cabinet Francesco I Medici

From the Hall of Five Hundreds a secret room opens, which once belonged to the son of Cosimo, Francesco Medici, who served him as an office and laboratory. It is decorated with paintings and statuettes by Vasari. On the walls beneath many paintings are hiding places.

Lily Hall

Fresco of Ghirlandaio in the Lily Hall, photo by Colin Sabin

The most beautiful hall on the second floor of the palace is Lily Hall. Its cassette ceiling is covered with a magnificent pattern: the “honeycomb” gold decor on a bright blue background looks unusually bright and impressive. A portal of white marble leads into the room. On the walls you can see the authentic frescoes by Girlindo. In the same room is now a sculpture by Donatello "Judith and Holofernes."

Other Halls

Mural of the history of Mark Fury Camille in the Hall of Justice, photo liliaindj

The ceiling vaults of the Hall of Elements are decorated with allegorical images of the four forces of nature: Fire and Wind, Earth and Water. In the Hall of the Office you can see a bust and a portrait of Machiavelli. The center of the interior of the Mappamondo Hall is a huge globe created in the 16th century. On the walls there are 53 ancient maps made by a medieval monk, cartographer and mathematician - the father of Ignazio Danti.

Chapel

Ceiling fresco by Agnolo Bronzino in the chapel of Eleanor of Toledo

In the chapel of Eleanor of Toledo preserved work Agnolo Bronzino - a series of plots from the life of the prophet Moses and the painting "Descent from the Cross."

Opening hours

Fri - Wed 09: 00-19: 00, Thu 09: 00-14: 00.

Entrance Ticket Price

Museum
adult - € 10 euro,
students and seniors - € 8 euros,
children under 18 years old - free of charge.

Tower
adult - € 10 euro,
students and seniors - € 8 euros,
children under 18 years old - free of charge.

You can buy a comprehensive ticket for € 14 (preferential - € 12), including a visit to the museum and the tower. Walking around the terrace will cost another € 2.

Palazzo Vecchio
Piazza della Signoria Firenze Italy
museicivicifiorentini.comune.fi.it

Take C2 to the Condotta stop; C3, D to Ponte Vecchio; C1 to Galleria Degli Uffizi

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Watch the video: Florence, Italy: Palazzo Vecchio (December 2019).

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