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2 - BASILICA OF SAINT LORENZO - MEDICI'S CHAPELS - LIBRARY LAURENZIANA

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Florence - Complex of Saint Lorenzo

Vista del Complesso si S. Lorenzo dal DuomoHistory. It was consecrated in 1393 and is one of the churches that contend the title of “the oldest in the city”. For three hundred years has played the role of the cathedral, before handing the status in Santa Reparata, when were solemnly transferred the remains of the first bishop of Florence, San Zenobius. It was enlarged and a consecrated the first time in 1059, with a chapter of Canons in the church that gave impetus to construct some circles as the cloister next to the church. During the fifteenth century, the Canons decided a new enlargement, but the work initially, proceeded very slowly. In 1419, Giovanni di Bicci de 'Medici offered to finance the expansion, commissioning a project to Filippo Brunelleschi who had already achieved the Old Sacristy and another chapel. The great architect created a magnificent plan that was soon accepted by all the people with enthusiasm and the developer decided to finance the work. Brunelleschi, assisted by his assistant Antonio Manetti, created as a reference-point for all subsequent religious architecture, with an airy interior, with a Latin cross with three aisles. Everything scanned by Corinthian columns and round Vista del Complesso si S. Lorenzo dal Duomoarches in gray sandstone, which contrasts with the white plaster walls. The proportions are carefully studied and are based on the modular repetition of standard sizes, to create a succession of ideals regular spaces, as the large flanked cubes topped by hemisphere. At the same time (1421), he built the Sacristy, today called “Old-Sacristy” as opposed to the new one by Michelangelo, with Donatello round frescoes. The basilica was completed in 1461, thanks to economic support of Cosimo de 'Medici’s son, John, San Lorenzo became soon the basilica of the Medici’s family. Cosimo “the older” was buried in a pillar still visible from a grate. The nave ceiling is decorated with lacunars (variant of 'pull'), with gold rosettes on a white background making everything very bright and showy. The facade of the church is still unfinished: Pope Leo X de’ Medici, gave to Michelangelo the task of planning one in 1518. The artist made a wooden model of a classical proportionate facade, but the work was also carried out for technical and Cappelle Medicee, la criptafinancial problems have arisen already away materials. Pope Leo X commissioned too, the New Sacristy to the great artist, to preserve the graves of the two Medici scions (Lorenzo Duke of Urbino, and Giuliano Duke of Nemours), who both died about thirty years, with great consternation of Pope that worked for their claim. The work was carried out on several occasions and only through a safe conduct proposed by the Medici to Michelangelo, guilty of having taken part in the events of the Florentine Republic, forced the artist to complete the work that otherwise would remain one of the many unfinished Michelangelo’s works. On the other hand, this way of doing a little ''superficial and senseless”, was typical of all Buonarroti’s until last descents when all large Cappelle medicee, esternifamily assets had been squandered all in every way possible, especially gambling.
Source: Elina Buonarroti in Casprini. It is written well. The last descent of that famous 'Buonarroti' was part of our family. The little bell is 1740 of Ferdinand Ruggieri. The Medici Chapels are the most impressive all throughout the complex, which represents the power of the Medici in three fundamental aspects. The cult, knowledge and strength-economic policy. The two main parties who are visiting the basilica dell'abside extensions: the New Sacristy, built by Michelangelo from 1519 in a decade or so, and the great Chapel of the Princes of the next century, completely covered with marble and semi-precious stones where are buried the great dukes of Tuscany and their families.

bibioteca laurenziana, la scalinata del buonarrotiThe crypt is the first environment which is accessed from the imposing down museum. It sustains throughout the building above. On the floor there are posed the tombstones of Medici and it is from this environment, passing through the ticket office, which through two stairs you enter the “chapel of the principles”.

The Chapel of Prince. The imposing and magnificent octagonal environment is 28 meters wide and is topped by the dome of San Lorenzo, the second for majestyin the city after Brunelleschi’s (Cathedral). Designed by Cosimo I, but its implementation was by his successor, Ferdinand I, which commissioned the architect Matteo Nigetti (1604), and designedby complesso di sal lorenzo, chiostro.Don Giovanni de' Medici. The same Buontalenti modified part of the project. The dazzling pomp is given by rich inlays created with semiprecious stones. For the achievement of them was created the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. Entering this environment you can really feel a strong sensation of wonder. There no mm where big and little carved is not so masterly and inlaid one against another to create designs, badges and anything who can represent Florence and the magnificence of its “principles or lords”. Here we do not find gaudy colours seen the environment, but there were used stones such as lapis lazuli, the coral and mother-of-pearl. Here we do not find gaudy colours: this is a big tomb, butthere are stones such as lapis lazuli, coral and mother-of-pearl. The Medici chapels are a visitor the impression of a unique, immense, magnificent single jewel. In the niches are due to enter the statues of all great dukes. In fact there is in place those of Ferdinand Cosimo I and II, both works by Pietro Tacca carried out between 1626 and 1642. The other great duke’s tombs belong to Cosimo I (1519-1574), Cosimo II (successor of Ferdinand I, 1590-1561) and Cosimo III (succeeded Ferdinand II, 1643-1723). At the heart of the atrium, in the intentions of the buyers, there should be the Holy Sepulchre, although several attempts to buy or steal it in Jerusalem, failed. The sarcophagi do not actually contain the materials remains of principles and their families. These environments are in fact simple and strip hidden behind the walls. In a small room behind the altar there are shrines of valuable bill donated to Florence by Pope Leo X.

Biblioteca laurenziana, la sala di letturaThe New Sacristy was built by Michelangelo on several occasions, between 1521 and 1534. You can access from a corridor from Chapel of the Princes. The door that allows you to enter the basilica is actually closed. Ordered by Pope Leo X and Cardinal Giulio de 'Medici (future Clement VII), Michelangelo created from the same plant the Old Sacristy of Brunelleschi and divided the space in more complex forms, with triumphal arches that open onto a “kind” of apses. Set in the two wall sides, Michelangelo realized the monumental tombs dedicated to Giuliano Duke of Nemours and his nephew Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino. For which three sculptures carved each: Allegories of Time, above laying on the graves, and above, the portraits of the Dukes. For the Giuliano de 'Medici’s tomb, he chose to represent Giuliano, sitting fair posture, in “the Day and Night”. For the Lorenzo’s instead, Michelangelo represented him in a melancholic and pensive pose. The “Dusk and Aurora”. Both statues look toward the centre of the chapel where Michelangelo created and placed a Madonna with Jesus in her womb. Turning their gaze to the sacred representation, the dukes express the religious inclinations of the artist, second which, when the glories earthly pass, only spirituality and religion can provide solace to the anxieties of men. Completing the accompanying the statues of Saints Cosmas and Damian, some of Michelangelo followers. Under the altar, it’s buried too, Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano de 'Medici. For them there is no a monumental burial: Michelangelo in 1534 in fact departed from Florence and finally left the work unfinished.

The Library. After several ups and disputes about the Buonarroti project, the library stands on two levels: the “ricetto” on the first floor and, through the imposing stone staircase, the second floor is placed where the library stand. The main reason for the raising of the library is derived from the problem of having to exploit whenever possible, every hour of daylight in the reading room. Work began between 1525 and 1526 but suffered a break for the Lordship fall. Therefore at that time, Michelangelo was appointed 'Magistrate of Nines' chiefs of the town militia (January 10 1529), and until September was involved in the fortifications of the city and then switch to the effective city defence (battle) while it was taken into a siege by the Papal troops. On August 12, 1530,the city was resumed again in the hands of the Medicis and Michelangelo had to take of flight from the assassins of Alessandro de 'Medici. Forgiven by the Pope, he had to complete the work commissioned along with Medici tombs. Clement VII knew very well the “man” Michelangelo. In 1533 Sebastiano del Piombo, urged the artist with a: 'et dice (Sua Santità) che alogate li banchi e palchi e figure e scale e quello pare a vui e che si faci tutto quello si pol fare senza vui'' (he says (the Pope): make what you want about the desks, the furnitures, the paintings and the stairs, we will do the rest by ourself”… and Michelangelo started to work again!;)

In1534 the reading desks were arranged by the Baptist and Ciapin but the death of the Buonarroti in the same year, convinced the artist to abandon Florence and move to Rome where he began magnificent the 'Last Judgement' delivered to the public in 1541 while the work of the library were for the moment abandoned. The floor was executed on draft of Perin del Vaga by Sante Baglioni in the years 1549-54. In 1550 was the decoration of the ceiling by Baptist of Tasso. Finally, the troubled creation of the staircase: the design of Buonarroti underwent many thoughts and many variations mean that his execution lasted until 1558 when Michelangelo sent a terracotta model accompanied by an explanatory letter end the final realization by Ammannati. Only in 1571 the Library could be finally opened.

Particularitity. The concept of library was slightly different from today. Now you can go at the desk and ask a reference book. During that times, each reference desk had a list of the books kept in desk-drawer. In each reference desk the was then a appropriate list of books and if you would change subject, simply change desk. This system was practised to avoid theft since the books were not made in paper, but in parchment and the cost was very high. You could really move or take the book at home. Each book was chained to the desk to prevent damage and stealing.

Questioned me, "Who were your ancestors?

Abbey

Public square S. Lorenzo tel. 055.21.66.34

Hour cult 8:00 9:30 11:00 18:00

Chapels: week days and festive days 8,15 - 16,50.  The ticket office closes to the 16,20

Timetable of visit

From monday to Sunday, hours 8,15-13,50; The ticket office closes to the 13,20

Closing: second and quarter Sunday of the month; the first, the third, the fifth monday of the month; 1-jan, 1- May, Xmas

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