Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Palazzo Vecchio

The Palazzo Vecchio (or Old Palace) still performs the function that it was originally built for as the Town Hall of Florence. It is a beautiful and grand building and stands in the center of Piazza della Signoria near the Uffizi. It was completed in 1322. There is a large bell tower that was used to call citizens to meetings or warn of fire flood, or enemy attach.

Much of the interior was remodeled for Duke Cosimo I when he moved into the palace in 1540. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were asked to redecorate the interior, but it was Vasari who did all of the work.

The art work in the Palazzo is magnificent. Even the walls, ceilings and floors are all works of art.

The statue in the photo is one of Michelangelo’s called Victory and is was presented to Cosimo I in 1565 by Michelangelo’s nephew, following the Duke’s military triumph over Sienna.

The map room with it’s antique globe and maps is amazing as well.

The shields on the exterior symbolize episodes in Florentine history. The crossed keys represent Medici papal rule.

I have walked by and admired the outside of this building every single day and night that I have been in Florence. It is one of my favorites. I could not believe that the interior was as magnificent as the exterior. I am so happy I ventured inside!

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