map

Church of Orsanmichele

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via dell'Arte della Lana, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit the Church of Orsanmichele on a weekday morning to avoid the crowds and truly appreciate the serenity and intricacies of its Gothic architecture and rich sculptures. Also, check the local community board or ask a nearby shopkeeper for any free guided tours or special events, as these are often not well-advertised to tourists."

What is Church of Orsanmichele?

Florence harbors an abundance of architectural splendor, and nestled within its historic streets stands the Church of Orsanmichele, a unique structure that intertwines sacred significance with civic pride. Originally constructed as a grain market in the 14th century, this edifice was transformed into a church by the guilds of Florence, who adopted it as a place of worship and adorned it with a wealth of artistic treasures. Its dual identity as both a market and a sacred space is a tale of Florentine innovation and a reflection of the city's deep-rooted connection to commerce, art, and religion.

Visit Church of Orsanmichele on Our:

All-Inclusive
Florence & the Artisans' Craft Tour

Florence & the Artisans' Craft TourEmbark on a journey that weaves through the heart of Florence's artisan heritage with our bespoke Florence & ...

US$119/pp Learn more

History of Church of Orsanmichele

The story of Orsanmichele unveils a fascinating journey through time. The site began as a humble kitchen garden (orto) belonging to the monastery of San Michele, which is reflected in its name "Orsanmichele," meaning "Kitchen Garden of St. Michael". In the late 13th century, a loggia was established to house the grain market, and by the turn of the 14th century, the loggia was enclosed to create a more permanent structure. When a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary attracted pilgrims, the market was transformed into a church. However, it was the guilds, the powerful trade organizations of Florence, who elevated Orsanmichele, commissioning statues of their patron saints to embellish the building's exterior—a testament to their piety and wealth.

Why is Church of Orsanmichele Important?

The Church of Orsanmichele stands as a monument to Florence's Golden Age, encapsulating the city's unique blend of devotion, artistry, and mercantile ambition. This goes beyond its sacred purpose; the church also serves as a gallery of Renaissance sculpture, boasting works by renowned artists like Donatello, Ghiberti, and Verrocchio. Each statue and tabernacle tells a narrative of the competing guilds striving for both spiritual merit and social stature. Their legacy, immortalized in stone and bronze, continues to emanate the collective identity and ideologies of the Florentines during the Renaissance.

Things to Do & See at Church of Orsanmichele

Witnessing Orsanmichele unfolds a sensory experience that blends the spiritual with the aesthetic. Begin with the niches that embellish its facade, where each statue stands as a silent guardian of history, signifying the patron saint of the guild that commissioned it. Step inside to immerse yourself in the sacred ambience of the church's interior, where the famed Madonna delle Grazie presides—a revered image once thought to perform miracles.

Explore further to discover the stained glass windows, which are some of the oldest in Florence, casting a kaleidoscope of colors upon the church's Gothic interior. Don't miss the upper floor, once the grain storage of the original market, which now houses a museum showcasing the original statues from the exterior niches (the ones outside are copies). And for those keen on getting a thorough understanding, consider arranging a visit to the adjacent Oratory, brimming with decorative artworks linked to the guilds. This lesser-known treasure trove is a portal to the spiritual lives of Florentine artisans and merchants.

Our Top Trending Florence Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Florence Noble Lineage Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Florence Enchanted Gardens Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Florence & the Renaissance Legacy Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence?

The Church of Orsanmichele has a rich history that dates back to the 8th century, originally serving as a grain market before being converted into a church in the 14th century. It is renowned for its Gothic architecture and the beautiful sculptures by famous artists like Donatello.

What are the notable artworks and sculptures in the Church of Orsanmichele?

The Church of Orsanmichele is famous for its series of statues by prominent Renaissance artists, including Donatello's 'St. Mark' and 'St. George', Ghiberti's 'St. Matthew', and Verrocchio's 'Christ and St. Thomas'.

Are there guided tours available for the Church of Orsanmichele?

Yes, guided tours are often available for visitors interested in learning more about the Church of Orsanmichele's history, architecture, and the artworks it houses. It's best to check with local tourist information centers for the latest schedules.

What is the admission fee for the Church of Orsanmichele?

Typically, entrance to the Church of Orsanmichele is free of charge, but donations are welcome. However, for access to special areas such as the museum or upper floors, there may be a small fee.

What are the operating hours of the Church of Orsanmichele?

Opening hours for the Church of Orsanmichele can vary, but it is usually open to the public during the day except for Mondays. Visitors should verify the current operating hours before planning their visit as they can change based on events and seasons.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Via dell'Arte della Lana, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps