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Firenze Stories about the history makers


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Right from Medieval times, Piazza della Signoria has always been the civic centre of Florentine life. Although some original buildings (the Loggia dei Pisani and the Church of St. Cecilia) and the ancient brick paving, which gave it greater unity of style, have now disappeared, it remains in all its aspects a square of incomparable beauty and elegance. Dominated by the fourteenth century Palazzo della Signoria with its high crenellated tower, it is surrounded by other important buildings: the Loggia della Signoria and the Palazzo degli Uffizi on the south side, the sixteenth century Palazzo degli Uguccioni on the north side and the Palazzo del Tribunale di Mercanzia (about 1359) on the east side.
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Published in: Travel
  • Thank you Mirka for your support, thank you
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    Gracias por comentar y favorecer Pilar, un profundo GRACIAS
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  • Magníficas historias de la Historia y esa maravillosa plaza de la Signoria. Florencia es un tesoro, la adoro. Poco a poco me voy haciendo con el inglés, por lo menos lo más elemental. Gracias, muchas gracias. Pilar
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  • Merci à vous Mireille pour la visite et pour la patience d'écouter la conférence!
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Firenze Stories about the history makers

  1. 1. Firenze Piazza della Signoria
  2. 2. Piazza della Signoria, an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence was named after the Palazzo della Signoria , also called Palazzo Vecchio . It is the focal point of the origin and of the history of the Florentine Republic and still maintains its reputation as the political hub of the city
  3. 3. The Palazzo Vecchio ("Old Palace") is the town hall of the city. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the square with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi, it is one of the most significant public places in Italy, and it host cultural points and museums.
  4. 4. The defiant fortress-like structure of the main building serves to express the power exercised by the Florentine community from the 14th to the 16th century; its bold and lofty tower (94m), with its clock dating from 1353, symbolizes the fierce pride of the people of Florence, while the furnishings within the palace reflect their love of art
  5. 6. Initially the palace was the official residence of the Priors (Palazzo dei Priori) and the Gonfaloniere, which therefore made it the seat of the governing body of the Republic, the "Signoria". Its other names, Palazzo del Popolo and Palazzo del Comune, are accounted for by the republican-democratic nature of Florence, even when it was ruled by the Medici, although they governed from their palace, the Palazzo Medici Palazzo Medici
  6. 7. It was Cosimo I, Duke then Grand Duke of Tuscany, who moved into the city's principal palace in 1540, after which it was known as the Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace).
  7. 8. Cosimo I de' Medici 1519-74, duke of Florence (1537-69), grand duke of Tuscany (1569-74) was the son of Giovanni de' Medici (Giovanni delle Bande Nere). The monument to condottiero Giovanni dalle Bande Nere in Piazza san Lorenzo in Florence.
  8. 9. In 1537, Lorenzino de' Medici murdered Cosimo's predecessor, Alessandro de' Medici, and fled from Florence, leaving the succession to Cosimo. Cosimo, despite promises to the contrary, assumed absolute authority as soon as he was installed. A group of exiles who tried to restore the republic were defeated and were either imprisoned or beheaded.
  9. 10. In 1539, Cosimo married a Spanish noblewoman, Eleonora de Toledo, whose enormous dowry replenished his empty coffers. Under Cosimo's able, though ruthless, rule Florence reached its highest political importance and material prosperity and almost doubled its territories—notably by the acquisition (1555) of the republic of Siena. In 1569, Pope Pius V bestowed the title grand duke of Tuscany on Cosimo. Cosimo centralized his state.
  10. 12. No story about the Medici and about Florence would be complete without its share of popes and emperors In 1569, Pope Pius V granted the Medici ruler, Cosimo de' Medici, whose then title was Duke of Florence and Sienna, a new title, a royal one. In Rome, a few months later, in March 1570, ignoring opposition from the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II, the Pope crowned Cosimo, making him the first Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  11. 13. Having brought nearly all Tuscany under his control, Cosimo used his despotic power to promote the country’s well-being. His passion for efficiency inspired him the idea, extremely advanced for the times, of uniting all public services into a single building, the Uffizi (“Offices”), which was built for him according to Giorgio Vasari’s grandiose yet practical design.
  12. 16. In order to satisfy his taste or, better said, his Medici passion for buildings, he made Vasari his superintendent of buildings and had him redecorate the interior of the Palazzo Vecchio. He then adopted as his residence the Pitti Palace, which Eleonora had purchased unfinished in 1549. Soon he moved into the Palazzo Pitti, so the name of Palazzo Vecchio (old palace) became current.
  13. 18. Between 1865 and 1872, during the Italian struggle for unity, it was for a while the seat of the Government, the Chamber of Deputies and the Foreign Ministry. Thereafter it became the equivalent of the City Hall, and the state rooms were thrown open to the public as a museum.
  14. 19. Above the front entrance door, there is a notable ornamental marble frontispiece, dating from 1528
  15. 20. In the middle, flanked by two gilded lions, is the Monogram of Christ, surrounded by a glory, above the text (in Latin): "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominantium" (translation: "Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords". This text dates from 1851
  16. 22. Michelangelo's David also stood at the entrance from its completion in 1504 to 1873, when it was moved to the Accademia Gallery. A replica erected in 1910 now stands in its place, flanked by Baccio Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus.
  17. 26. A copy of Donatello's bronze statue of "Judith and Holofernes". The original is to be found in the Sala del Gigli.
  18. 28. The cubical building is built in solid rustic stonework, with two rows of two-lighted Gothic windows, each with a trefoil arch. Michelozzo Michelozzi added decorative bas-reliefs of the cross and the lily in the spandrels between the trefoils.
  19. 30. escendants
  20. 31. The building is crowned with projecting crenellated battlement, supported by small arches and corbels. Under the arches are a repeated series of nine painted coats of arms of the Florentine republic. Some of these arches can be used as embrasures (spiombati) for dropping heated liquids or rocks on invaders.
  21. 32. Eleanor of Toledo (Italian: Eleonora di Toledo (1522 –1562), born Doña Leonor Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, was a Spanish noblewoman who was Duchess of Florence from 1539. She is credited with being the first modern first lady, or consort. She served as regent of Florence during the absence of her spouse.
  22. 33. Eleanor and Cosimo had eleven children, including five sons who reached maturity (Francesco, Giovanni, Garzia, Ferdinando, and Pietro); before this time the Medici line had been in danger of becoming extinct.
  23. 34. Thus by providing an heir, and ample spares, as well as through her daughters' marriages into other ruling and noble families of Italy, she was able to inaugurate an era of strength and stability in Tuscany. Two of her sons, Francesco and Ferdinando, reigned as grand Dukes of Tuscany.
  24. 36. During her marriage, despite her initial unpopularity as a Spaniard, she gained great influence in Florence, she encouraged the arts and was patron to many of the most notable artists of the age. A pious woman, she encouraged the Jesuit order to settle in Florence; she also founded many new churches in the city. She was interested in agriculture and business. She also loved her husband deeply, eagerly awaiting his letters when he was away.
  25. 38. Maria de' Medici (1540 – 1557) was the eldest daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo. Maria's cause of death was probably malaria. She died in Livorno. Her father mourned for her deeply and kept her portrait in his bedroom until he died
  26. 40. After Eleonora's death in 1562, Cosimo fathered two children with his mistress Eleonora degli Albrizzi and after that married Camilla Martelli
  27. 41. After the death of Cosimo's first wife Eleonora of Toledo and after the end of his relationship with Eleonora of Albizi, Camilla became Cosimo's lover despite being 26 years younger his junior. Camilla stood by him during his old age, when because of his poor health he retired to private life in the villa di Castello, abdicating in favor of his son Francesco I de' Medici.
  28. 42. However, the marriage was morganatic, and Camilla was not given the title "Grand Duchess”. Their daughter, Virginia, was legitimized and integrated into the line of succession. Virginia de' Medici (1568-1615) was the Duchess of Modena and Reggio by marriage to Cesare d'Este, Duke of Modena.
  29. 43. Camilla was the main focus of bitter argument between Cosimo and his children in his old age. They did not agree with her appetite for ostentatious luxury, which appeared vulgar in comparison to the tasteful elegance of his late wife Eleonora of Toledo. The Grand Duke, not to arouse scandal, went into seclusion and prohibited parties and official celebrations. After the death of Cosimo, Camilla was forced to retire to the Florentine convent of Murate. She was later moved to the convent of Santa Monica, where she died in 1590.
  30. 44. The Fountain of Neptune in front of the Palazzo Vecchio was commissioned on the occasion of the wedding of Francesco I de' Medici with grand duchess Johanna of Austria in 1565.
  31. 45. Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1541–1587 ) was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 to 1587. Born in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo, and served as regent for his father starting in 1564. On December 18, 1565, he married Joanna of Austria, youngest daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
  32. 46. By all reports, it was not a happy marriage. Joanna was homesick for her native Austria, and Francesco was neither charming nor faithful. Joanna died at the age of thirty one in 1578.
  33. 47. Soon after the Grand Duchess Joanna had died, Francesco went on to marry his Venetian mistress, Bianca Cappello, after aptly disposing of her husband, a Florentine bureaucrat.
  34. 48. Because of the quick remarriage and similar occurrences among the Medici (Francesco's younger brother Pietro had reportedly killed his wife), rumors spread up that Francesco and Bianca had conspired to poison Joanna.
  35. 49. They had no children, but Francesco adopted her daughter by first marriage Pellegrina (1564- ?) and her son Antonio (August 29, 1576 - May 2, 1621), who was first adopted as newborn child by Bianca Cappello with the intention to present him to Francesco as "own child" by means of changeling.
  36. 50. She was, however, not always popular among Florentines. Francesco reportedly built and decorated Villa Medicea di Pratolino for Bianca Villa Medicea di Pratolino
  37. 52. The Loggia dei Lanzi consists of wide arches open to the street, three bays wide and one bay deep.
  38. 53. Although most of the Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum, it remains the symbol of local government: since 1872 it has housed the office of the mayor of Florence, and it is the seat of the City Council.
  39. 54. The monument to condottiero Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (Giovanni de' Medici, father to Cosimo I de' Medici), was sculpted by Baccio Bandinelli in 1540 and stands in Piazza san Lorenzo square in Florence. Descendents of Lodovico de' Medici (Giovanni dalle Bande Nere) in four generations Son: Cosimo I de' Medici Grand duke of Tuscany Grandson: Francesco I de' Medici Grand duke of Tuscany Great-granddaughter: Marie de' Medici Queen of France Great-Great-granddaughter: Henrietta Maria of France Queen of England
  40. 55. Sound : Tartini - Trillo Del Diavolo (David Oistrakh) Text: Internet Pictures : Daniela Iacob & Internet Arangement : Sanda Foişoreanu