This unique and extraordinary monument, encompassing both civil and religious functions, has now been reopened to the public. Antonio Paolucci has defined it as a “temple of work”, because it was built by the city Guilds responsible for the prosperity of the free Florentine city, which were symbolically represented by it. It was also, as recalled by the fondly remembered Mayor of the city, Piero Bargellini, “the place in which the Grain of the Comune was stored: the Grain of the people and of the poor, provisions which the provident decrees of the Republic sought to defend from speculation at all times, and in particular during times of famine.”
In the middle of the 14th century the granary was consecrated for Christian worship.The sculptures on the exterior were commissioned from the most famous Florentine artists in the 15th and 16th centuries for the niches on the four sides of the imposing building in pietra forte, positioned half-way between the Palazzo della Signoria and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. In the interior of the church one can admire the magnificent marble tabernacle of the Madonna delle Grazie. Services are held regularly, including holy mass: evening mass on Saturday and morning and evening mass on Sunday.
The statues of the patron saints of Florence's most important guilds were originally located in the external niches that are located on the church of Orsanmichele. Today these have been replaced by copies, while the originals have been restored and placed on display on the upper floor of the church. Most of the statues were commissioned in the early 1400s and provide an important document of Early Renaissance sculpture including examples by Donatello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco and Andrea del Verrocchio. On the top story of the building there is an exhibit of Gothic sculptures attributed to Andrea Orcagna.
Museum of Orsanmichele
Via Arte della Lana 1
Ph: +39 055-284944
Closed: Weekdays Tues to Sun and holidays. Yearly closing days: January 1st, May 1st , December 25th. The ticket offices close 30 minutes before museums' closing time; 45 minutes before at the Accademia, G. Arte Moderna, Uffizi, Palatina; 1 hour before at Costume, Porcellane, Boboli
For advanced reservations: Firenze Musei, Tel. 055 294883, costs € 3,00 per person (€ 4,00 per/for Galleria Uffizi or/and Accademia); School groups: Tel. 055 290112. On-line ticket sales: www.firenzemusei.it.
Via Arte della Lana - Tel. 055 210305
Weekdays: 10-17; Sundays and holidays: 10-17; Closed: N/A.
Disabled Access: no