Orsanmichele

Find your Hotel in Florence

Destination
Arrival
Departure

Florence Tours

facebooktwitteryoutube

discover tuscany
visit florence and orsanmichele

Florence » What to See » Churches »

Orsanmichele Church and Museum Complex

Address
Via Arte della Lana, corner with Via Calzaiouli
50122 Firenze (FI)
Ticket
Free Entrance
Opening hours
Church is open everyday from 10am to 5pm (in August, closed on Mondays)
The Museum is open on Mondays, 10am-5pm
Days of closure
Closed on Monday in August

Orsanmichele gets its name from the fact that when it was first built (about 750) as the oratory of St. Michael, it was surrounded by the vegetable garden (orto) of a Benedictine monastery. The present building was constructed in 1336 as a market and grain store; by 1380 the first floor had become a church.

In 1339 it was decided that each of the major guilds should provide a statue of their respective patron saint to decorate the exterior. By happy coincidence, nothing was completed until the Renaissance was in full swing in the 15th century, so the commissions were executed by artists of the calibre of Verrocchio, Ghiberti, Donatello, and Luca della Robbia. Most of the niches for the saints are now empty or filled with copies. In the Museo di Orsanmichele, in the upper two stories of this building, you can see many of the sculptures.

The interior of Orsanmichele is atmospherically gloomy. On the walls there are patchy traces of frescoes; these, like the statues outside, depict the patron saints of the various guilds. The central feature, however, if the tabernacle (1348-59) by Orcagna, which frames the exquisite Madonna and Child (1347) by Bernardo Daddi. To appreciate the architecture of Orsanmichele, visit the museum: here you can admire the superb vaulting and brickwork and get a true impression of the immense size of the building. The views are also superb.

church of orsanmichele

View our photo gallery of Orsanmichele View more pics of the Church of Orsanmichele! »

~Discover Tuscany Team

You might also like:

Churches of Florence

Did you find this article interesting? Share it!

Questions? The right place to ask is our Forum!

(questions posted on Comments below will no longer receive replies: so post on our Forum!)

blog comments powered by Disqus