Firenze, Italy

Friday, Ospedale degli Innocenti

From the museum we walked north to the orphanage, designed by Brunelleschi, 1424 to 1445.

Firenze One of the streets we used to get to the orphanage.
Firenze Detail of the building at the end of the street.

Firenze The Piazza SS. Annunziata

The orphanage is to the right. The other buildings in the piazza were built to imitate Brunelleschi's design. The equestrian statue of Ferdinand I of Tuscany was made by the noted sculptor, Giambologna (Jean de Boulogne) and placed there in 1608.

Firenze Loggia dei Servi di Maria

This is the building on the west side of the piazza. It is the Loggia dei Servi di Maria (Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in the 1520s) and is now a hotel.

Firenze Basilica della Santissima Annunziata

The Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, the Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciation, on the north side of the Piazza SS. Annunziata. It was built by Michelozzo, begun in 1444. The portico was added in 1601 by the architect Giovanni Battista Caccini.

Firenze A fountain in the piazza, added in 1640.


The Ospedale degli Innocenti, The Hospital of the Innocents. Although based on both Italian Romanesque and late Gothic architecture, it is regarded as a notable example of early Italian Renaissance architecture. One of the novel features was the proportional logic. The heights of the columns, for example, was not arbitrary. If a horizontal line is drawn along the tops of the columns, a square is created out of the height of the column and the distance from one column to the next. This desire for regularity and geometric order was to become an important element in Renaissance architecture.

As you can see, there was construction/renovation going on here too. It seemed like everywhere we went we ran into it.

Firenze A fresco over an entrance to the orphanage.


Here is a segmented spherical dome with a fresco, over the main entrance to the orphanage. In this photo you can see close-ups of the circular tondi, with a baby in swaddling clothes inside a blue wheel, above each column. Michelangelo originally meant for these to be blank, but around 1490, Andrea della Robbia was commissioned to fill them in.


Here is the arcaded loggia in front of the orphanage. The motif of the grey stone archtiectural elements against the white walls came to be known as pietra serena (dark stone.)

Firenze Another detail at one end of the loggia.


Below are some photos taken around the area of the Piazza SS. Annunziata.


This guy was starting to walk away and then saw me trying to take a photo. He purposely stayed where he was so I just took the photo anyway.

Firenze The duomo and its cupola looming over the street.

Firenze More evidence of the Medici

Piazza Filippo Brunelleschi

Then we came to the Piazza Filippo Brunelleschi. The University of Florence Linguistics Department is located near here.
Brunelleschi was commissioned in 1434 by the Medici family to design an oratory for the monastery church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels.) Unfortunately, construction was halted in 1437 due to funding problems. A wooden roof was added in 1503 but it deteriorated rapidly and in the 1930s, the building was given its modern appearance and was given to the university.
Brunelleschi originally intended for the building to have an octagonal domed space in the middle surrounded by eight supplementary spaces.


The Rotonda degli Scolari (Scholars Rotunda) in the Piazza Filippo Brunelleschi

Firenze I found this to be very interesting. Note the cattle skulls on each side.

Here are some more views near the Piazza Filippo Brunelleschi.


Firenze This is a workshop, but I didn't take any notes about what it was.
Notice the Medici coat-of-arms on the plaque on the right.

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