Chiesa e Museo di Orsanmichele

Duomo & Piazza della Signoria

The tabernacle in Or San Michele.

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This unusual and inspirational church, with a Gothic tabernacle by Andrea Orcagna, was created when the arcades of an old grain market (1290) were walled in and two storeys added during the 14th century. Its exterior is decorated with niches and tabernacles bearing statues representing the patron saints of Florence's many guilds, commissioned in the 15th and 16th centuries after the signoria (city government) ordered the guilds to finance the church's decoration.

These statues represent the work of some of the greatest Renaissance artists. Only copies adorn the building's exterior today, but all the originals except one are beautifully displayed in the church's little-known, light and airy museum, two floors above the church.