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 Comune, 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.