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

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 78 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of Sept 2020. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands