"Orsanmichele" Orsanmichele Tip by JoostvandenVondel

Orsanmichele, Florence: 9 reviews and 29 photos

  Christ and St. Thomas, Detail
by JoostvandenVondel
  • Christ and St. Thomas, Detail - Florence
      Christ and St. Thomas, Detail
    by JoostvandenVondel
  • Christ and St. Thomas - Florence
      Christ and St. Thomas
    by JoostvandenVondel
  • Orsanmichele, Interior - Florence
      Orsanmichele, Interior
    by JoostvandenVondel

This lovely little building was first built in 750 as an oratory of Saint Michael and was surrounded by the vegetable garden of a former Benedictine monastery. Later, in 1336, a new structure was built on the same site as a market and grain store, but given the piety of the Florentine population, the ground floor, by 1380, had been turned into a church.

The exterior of the building is adorned with statues of the patron saints of various guilds. These were added during the second half of the fifteenth century and include, for example, the magnificant "Christ and Saint Thomas" (1467-83) by Andrea del Vorrocchio, commissioned by the Tribunale di Mercanzia. Other works, or rather the original works by Verrocchio, Ghiberti, Donatello and Luca della Robia are located in the Museo di Orsanmichele (upper two floors of the building, but at the time of this review closed due to renovations). The interior could be taken as slightly gloomy, but I think it is brightened by the presence of the high altar and tabernacle decorated by Orcagna and doted with a "Madonna and Child" by Bernardo Daddi (1347).

The church is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 - 17:00 and closed Mondays. There is no entrance fee and well worth a pop in.

Address: Via dell'Arte della Lana
Directions: Via Arte della Lana, corner of Via Calzaiouli (between the Piazza del Duomo and the Piazza della Signoria).
Phone: 055-284-944
Website: http://www.uffizi.firenze.it/it/musei/?m=orsanmichele

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  • Updated Jul 31, 2009
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