Originally a grain market with a fascinating history, today it is a church that houses marvellous stone and bronze sculptures in its museum.
The Church and Museum of Orsanmichele is situated in Florence on the Via Calzaiuoli. It was originally built as a grain market but was transformed into a church and used for Florence's art and crafts guild. It was actually used to store the grain for the city, in case of famine or siege. The exterior building is just as fascinating with a statue of Madonna of the Rose by Tedesco, The Four Crowned Martyrs by di Banco and St. Mark by Donatello, the originals can be viewed inside the museum. Inside you must take in the artwork and stained glass windows of the Orsanmichele.
This church is one example of where the exterior has as much to see as the interior, even if you don't make it inside you will still feel like you have seen something marvellous. The facades of the exterior held 14 niches which were all filled from 1399 to 1430 with stone sculptures and bronzes. Today the original sculptures have been removed to prevent vandalism and the elements, they reside in the upper floor of the museum which is open every Monday.
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