Church and Museum of Orsanmichele, Florence

4.6
#8 of 102 in Museums in Florence
Art Museum · Hidden Gem · Religious Site
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Church and Museum of Orsanmichele is known for the sculptures of saints by the various guilds of Florence, distributed throughout the church. View the timeline of the sculptures, created between 1340 and 1602, to appreciate the shift from Gothic to Renaissance art. Artists, such as Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, and Giambologna, created the pieces. Read about the history of the church as a 14th-century grain hall and how it was converted into a place of worship later on. You can tour the museum on the second floor, or make your way to the top, where a viewing room gives you a 360-degree look at Firenze. Make Church and Museum of Orsanmichele a part of your Florence vacation plans using our Florence trip itinerary website.
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Church and Museum of Orsanmichele reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
984 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This was my last stop in Florence and I am so glad I went in. The church is small but has the most beautiful tarbancle I’ve ever seen. It’s very quiet and peaceful and has some art. I went onto the... 
    This was my last stop in Florence and I am so glad I went in. The church is small but has the most beautiful tarbancle I’ve ever seen. It’s very quiet and peaceful and has some art. I went onto the...  more »
  • I was drawn to this Church by the Rick Steve Audio tour of Florence. Sadly, on the two occasions I visited, the Church was not open. A great shame - there are some very intersting statues on the... 
    I was drawn to this Church by the Rick Steve Audio tour of Florence. Sadly, on the two occasions I visited, the Church was not open. A great shame - there are some very intersting statues on the...  more »
  • A small museum but a nice one. A good selection of statues in the upstairs gallery. And the price was right, free. 
    A small museum but a nice one. A good selection of statues in the upstairs gallery. And the price was right, free.  more »
Google
  • It's small, but well worth the 4€ to enter. It's a quiet church/museum, which means you have all the time and space you want to observe details of the church and statues. You can also get really up close to the statues in the museum, which allowed me to notice all the finer details I missed before). I recommend going in with Rick Steves' audio guide loaded on your phone to give your visit more meaning. Note that it's only open at very specific times on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
  • An incredible discovery for me, first time in Firenze I didn't know it existed but now I followed an advice and I didn't regret it, the views from the upper floors are amazing and you get to enjoy some pretty cool sculptures from Donatello, Verrocchio and Ghiberti
  • Not open very often. Looks quite interesting inside
  • It's beuatiful spot to visit. There's the church and the adjoining museum, containing the original statues, is included in the admission.
  • Orsanmichele (pronounced [orsammiˈkɛːle]; "Kitchen Garden of St. Michael", from the Tuscan contraction of the Italian word orto) is a church in the Italian city of Florence. The building was constructed on the site of the kitchen garden of the monastery of San Michele which no longer exists. Located on the Via Calzaiuoli in Florence, the church was originally built as a grain market in 1337 by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante, and Benci di Cione. Between 1380 and 1404, it was converted into a church used as the chapel of Florence's powerful craft and trade guilds. On the ground floor of the square building are the 13th-century arches that originally formed the loggia of the grain market. The second floor was devoted to offices, while the third housed one of the city's municipal grain storehouses, maintained to withstand famine or siege. Late in the 14th century, the guilds were charged by the city to commission statues of their patron saints to embellish the facades of the church. The sculptures seen today are copies, the originals having been removed to museums (see below). Inside the church is Andrea Orcagna's bejeweled Gothic Tabernacle (1355–59) encasing a repainting by Bernardo Daddi's of an older icon of the "Madonna and Child". The facades held 14 architecturally designed external niches, which were filled from 1399 to around 1430. The three richest guilds opted to make their figures in the far more costly bronze, which cost approximately ten times the amount of the stone figures. Orsanmichele's statuary is a relic of the fierce devotion and pride of Florentine trades, and a reminder that great art often arises out of a competitive climate. Each trade hoped to outdo the other in commissioning original, groundbreaking sculptures for public display on Florence's most important street, and the artists hired and materials used (especially bronze) indicate the importance that was placed on this site. Today, all of the original sculptures have been removed and replaced with modern duplicates to protect them from the elements and vandalism. The originals mainly reside in the museum of Orsanmichele, which occupies the upper floor of the church, and can be seen on every Monday, the only day when the museum is open. Two works by Donatello are in other Florentine museums: St. George and its niche are in the Bargello, and St. Louis of Toulouse is in the museum of the Basilica di Santa Croce.

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