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Medici Chapels

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 16

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Visit the Medici Chapels early in the morning to avoid the crowds and fully appreciate the serenity of the mausoleums; also, don't miss the hidden corridor behind the New Sacristy that houses Michelangelo's architectural drawings – a little-known gem often overlooked by tourists."

What is Medici Chapels?

The Medici Chapels are a significant historical treasure encompassing two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence—the New Sacristy and the Chapel of the Princes. Designed as a mausoleum for the Medici family, they hold the remains of this powerful and influential dynasty, which includes several Grand Dukes of Tuscany and associated family members. This hallowed place is not only a burial site but also a striking showcase of Renaissance art, characterized by sculptures by Michelangelo and opulent architecture. It emanates a sense of eternal grandeur befitting the Medici legacy, embodying their cultural patronage and the artistic endeavors they fervently sponsored.

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History of Medici Chapels

The Medici Chapels’ history originates in the 16th century when the Medici family, then the de facto rulers of Florence, commissioned the construction of a mausoleum for their successors. The New Sacristy, designed by Michelangelo, was initiated in 1520 and is an exemplar of High Renaissance artistry. It serves as the final resting place of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici and Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, with masterpieces such as the statues "Dawn" and "Dusk", "Night" and "Day" highlighting the architectural beauty. The Chapel of the Princes, an octagonal chapel with a grand dome, commenced later, in 1604, intended to glorify the Medici's grand-ducal lineage with its sumptuous decor and monumental scale—a testament to their ambition and influence.

Why is Medici Chapels Important?

Importance of the Medici Chapels lies in their multifaceted representation of history, art, and architecture. They stand as a testament to the Medici family's role in the cultural and political realms of Renaissance Italy. The New Sacristy, regarded as one of Michelangelo’s architectural masterpieces, draws scholars and art enthusiasts for its innovative design and sculpture work. The artistic pedigree of the Medici Chapels makes them a cornerstone of Renaissance studies. Moreover, the ornate Chapel of the Princes epitomizes the opulence and power of the Medici dynasty, making it a vital piece of Florentine and Italian heritage. The chapels are not merely tombs; they are a grand statement on the Medici family's lasting legacy.

Things to Do & See at Medici Chapels

Visitors stepping into the Medici Chapels are greeted by a cornucopia of activities and sights that meld historical intrigue with artistic brilliance. In the New Sacristy, you can marvel at Michelangelo’s sculptures adorning the tombs of Medici luminaries, engrossed in the allegories of time that they so poignantly represent. The Chapel of the Princes invites you to gaze upwards at the intricate frescoes that adorn the monumental dome and study the elaborate inlaid semiprecious stones that create a captivating series of designs—a technique known as pietra dura.

Beyond these masterpieces, you can peruse the Lorena Crypt, where the less prominent members of the Medici family are interred, or examine the extensive collection of relics and vestments displayed in the treasury. The Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, which is part of the chapels complex, offers a deeper understanding of the site's significance through its artifacts and informative displays. As you wander through the spaces that the Medicis once commissioned and ponder their wish to leave an enduring mark on Florence, you may also find quiet corners to reflect on the inexorable passage of time marbled around you.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the Medici Chapels?

The Medici Chapels are two structures at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence that were designed as the burial place for members of the Medici family, significant patrons of the arts during the Renaissance.


What can I see in the Medici Chapels?

Visitors to the Medici Chapels can view the lavish Chapel of the Princes, which houses the tombs of several Grand Dukes of Tuscany, and the New Sacristy, which contains the tombs of Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano, featuring sculptures by Michelangelo.


How do I purchase tickets to visit the Medici Chapels?

Tickets to the Medici Chapels can typically be purchased online on the official website, at the ticket counter on-site, or through various tour agencies that include the chapels in their itinerary.


Are there any guided tours available for the Medici Chapels?

Yes, guided tours are often available, providing visitors with historical context and insights into the Medici family's influence and the artistry of the chapels. Information on tours can usually be obtained from the official website or tour operators.


What are the opening hours of the Medici Chapels?

The opening hours of the Medici Chapels may vary seasonally. Generally, they are open daily with a mid-day break. It's best to check the official website or contact the site directly for the most up-to-date schedule.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, 6, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 6:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 16

Find it on google maps