Loggia dei Lanzi (Florence (Firenze) - Italy)

The original location of David was in front of this open air museum of Florence called Loggia dei Lanzi also called Loggia della Signoria. It was built between 1376 and 1382 by Benci di Cione and Simone di Francesco Talenti, to hold public events and ceremonies. It was decorated with imageries of virtues carved in 1384 - 1389 sculpted by Angolo Gaddi. It was restored much later in 1837.
The entire space is filled with several marble sculptures and a couple bronze ones too. On either sides of the entrance are 2 lions. Along the back wall are 6 sculptures of Roman women called 'Sabine', who are Italian tribes, which belong to the era of Trajan Hadrian and from the II C CE and underwent several restoration since their discovery in 16th C CE and got placed in various places till 1789 CE when they were brought here to Loggia. 
The main sculptures are the 5 free standing sculptures. Somehow 3 of those 5 have the concept of rape and I have no clue why is it so! The first is the bronze sculpture of Perseus holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Medusa in the other. This was sculpted by Benvenuto Cellini in 1545. 

The 2nd is Rape of Polyxena. This was sculpted by Pio Fedi in 1855-65. Its said that Achilles saw her and fell in love with her and to get her, he killed 2 of her brothers and abducted her. Its this very abduction that's being depicted here with her mother trying to stop her and Achilles raising his sword against her. However he didn't kill her though. Of all the sculptures there, this was my most favourite because of the complexity of the composition and the detailing in it incl the draping of the fabric and even the nails & veins!!!
The 3rd is Menelaus holding the body of Patroclus. The one here is a Roman copy of the original Greek sculpture made in 240-230 BCE. 
The 4th is Hercules and Centaur. This was sculpted by Giambologna in 1549-99. This depicts the story of Hercules killing Nessus, a Centaur, who tried to force himself upon Deianeira, Hercules' wife. However Deianeira trusted the dying Nessus when he said that his blood would keep him loyal to her. So she applied its blood allover the inside of Hercules' robe, eventually killing him as it was poison.
The 5th one is called the Rape of Sabine Women. Similar to Polyxena, this to is a complex sculpture with 3 characters in it. The original plaster sculpture which is usually made by artists before starting with marble, can still be seen at Galleria dell'Accademia. It actually means more of Abduction than Rape. This too was sculpted by Giambologna in 1581-83. It depicts the first generation of Roman soldiers who took the local tribal women to be their wives in 750 BCE. 
It is open to all to all times. However it does have a barrier across the entrance and if there are too many people inside at a time, its entry is regulated. 

My complete Florence (Firenze) travelogue: 
Firenze Town: David by Michelangelo, Galleria dell' Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, Historic Centre of Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi, Santa Maria Novella
Pisa Town: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral & Baptistery, Pisa Camposanto, Pisa Town


To Get There:
Nearest Metro Station: Santa Maria Novella
Nearest Bus stop: 
Entry Fee: Free

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

31 comments:

  1. Another beautiful location in Italy to explore. I feel like I did not see enough of Italy when I read your posts I think I missed out on too much. I need to go back and copy some of your excursions

    ReplyDelete
  2. All the marble sculptures are so perfect. They are so well protected and look like new. Wonder how many times they go through a "cleaning" session to remove dust, but wow they look all so well maintained!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely post. I have just started reading a book on Florence and the city is simply fascinating with the amount of culture and art that is in it. Beautiful photos and the i'm sure walking among some of the greatest arts of the world must have been a surreal moment.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been to Florence and your pictures brings all my memories to life. It was a beautiful place with lot of art and sculptures!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really interesting to learn about the details of these sculptures and the story they tell. The detail is quite remarkable! They must have been quite remarkable to see up close in person. Italy has so much wonderful art to discover.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love all the stories behind the statues, well the rape ones not so much, but it still gives a good look into their culture. I had no idea how Hercules died! They're all lovely regardless of the story the tell, thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a set of intricate sculptures! I have read many of these Greek mythological stories. So it is great to see those characters almost come alive.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Florence has been on my bucket list for years. Seeing your pics really makes me want to book a flight soon. If anything, I would finally love to see the David in person!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The sculptures look amazing and almost true-to-life. But what's beyond amazing is the imagination of the artist. So creative!

    ReplyDelete
  10. These sculptures are such awesome works of art. But as you rightly said....why are so many of them on rape? I love Greek and Roman mythology, though it does get very very confusing. Would love to visit this place when I am in Italy!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The sculpture look so stunning. There's always something on this kind of art work that always left me in awe whenever I gaze at them. I haven't been to Florence and this will surely something I should see if I get the chance to visit here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We still remember gawking at the square awestruck on its first glimpse. We knew Florence has lot of amazing history and sculptures but never expected to have so many wonderful sculptures out in open air. Loggia dei Lanzi is undeniably one of the gorgeous places to visit in Florence.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I always have mixed feelings about these statues. Back in the childhood we visited all those museums and they were more creepy than meaningful to me. Later I learned to accept that they are art, but still ...

    ReplyDelete
  14. There's so much stories in the sculptures at Loggia dei Lanzi. The sculptures also really well done in every intrinsic detail.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for pointing out the train station to access this. That is quite helpful. It is awesome you focused on the other statues besides David.... Did you have a chance to sample some gelato there? I found one or two stands selling some amazing lemon gelato!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These sculptures look amazing and it depicts the Roman history and the gender roles so well. Florence is a beautiful and historical city but I do not know the existence of Loggia dei Lanzi until I read your post now. The history makes it more like a dark tourism but it is great place to check out to learn more of Italy. It is also amazing the museum is free of entry.

    ReplyDelete
  17. These sculptures are stunning. I remember when I visited Rome, everything looked as good as new. Now I have to visit Florence too and this museum!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I never knew of this place last time I visited. i will be back in a few months time so will make sure to visit as it looks very interesting. The detail in the sculptures looks and sounds incredible, what a beautiful art. Though the rape concept is very weird indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Its great to hear that there are places where you can see Italy's great art for free still! These sculptures look very interesting and Florence is packed with history. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great sculptures and it is free which is a great. I went to Florence few years back but was not knowing this scuplture museum and I missed it. Rape of Polyxena story is interesting about abduction. Really the folds of fabric in this sculpture is done so realistic.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh geeze, the theme of rape is really worrying -- I love how you explain what is happening in each of them and now want to look up stories of Hercules! Crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I find these scuptures very interesting, full of emotion, power and of course kinda sexual, but maybe during those years, they know exactly how to use it. Greatness to the artists.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Had a great time here! The statues are incredible and so is the energy around here. Loved the artists painting in the square, oblivious to the world going by. It is something very quintessential of Italy :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm going to Florence in off season so it should be quiet when I visit Loggia dei Lanzi. I guess Florence is big enough that you need to take the metro to get around, as you recommend taking it to Santa Maria Novella. Your pictures and descriptions are wonderful, it's like a sneak preview of my visit, I will appreciate my visit more now.

    ReplyDelete
  25. All the sculptors look quite fascinating! I've only seen the replica of David sculptor at Ripley's Believe It or Not museum in St. Augustine, Florida. Wish to see the original masterpiece someday in my life!

    ReplyDelete
  26. LOVELY! Definitely one of the places and famous sculptures that I'd love to see. Hopefully we get to visit next year, if not soon! I admire masterpieces like these!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Loved the stories behind the sculptures. Though this is dark sculpture tales (if there is something like that). I cannot be help admire the precise finishing that the artists have given these...amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for sharing the stories behind the sculptures, and nicely done with the camerawork in capturing them!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wait, are the statues Greek mythology? I thought those names were of Greek Gods? I see that it's roman? Got a little confused~ But yea, I've been alway fascinated by their stories as they were all pretty violent and weird~

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have to say that Firenze remains one if my favorite cities in Italy. You did a terrific job of your visit.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Florence is outstanding! I enjoy your stories, Bhushavali!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting...!
Why not leave a comment.?
And tell your friends..!!!

cookieassistant.com