06 April, 2009

Palazzo Vecchio and the Torre d'Arnolfo -Florence, Italy-My World

View of the Palazzo Vecchio from the Piazza della Signoria
Close up of the Coats of Arms of the Florentine Republic.

Notice the Coats of Arms of the Florentine Republic.

Looking from the Arno River to the Palazzo Vecchio.

Located in the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) stands out. The Palazzo is the town hall of the City of Florence. This massive, Romanesque, crenellated fortress-palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. Overlooking the Piazza della Signoria 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.

The Palazzo was constructed between 1298 and 1302 as the Palazzo della Signoria, the residence of the Signoria (govenment), it then became the ducal palace of the Medicis. And, during Florence's brief speall as capital of Italy (1865-71), it was the seat of the National Parliament. Today, most of the Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum however, since 1872 it has housed the office of the Mayor and City Council of Florence.

The Torre d'Arnolfo - bell tower atop the Palazzo is 308 feet in height. This tower contains two small cells, that, at different times, imprisoned Cosimo de' Medici (the Elder) (1435) and Girolamo Savonarola (1498). The tower is named after its designer Torre d'Arnolfo. The solid cubicle shaped building is enhanced by the simple tower with its Lederle clock. The large, one-handed clock was orginally constructed by the Florentine Nicolo' Bernardo, but was replaced in 1667 by a clock made by Vincenzo Viviani.

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. 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.

These photographs were taken in February 2009 during my recent vacation to Italy.

Please be sure to stop by and visit other participants from around the world at MY WORLD TUESDAY, you won't be disappointed. I truly enjoy the great variety of photographs from all around the world and hope you will find them as enjoyable.

49 comments:

Reader Wil said...

You have done a great job by taking so many photos and reading so much information about Florence. Thank you for taking us with you on a tour in this old and famous city. Have a great week!

Louise said...

Ahhh, Florence. Never been, but want to go. And these wonderful photos surely add fuel to that flame!

Neil Tasker said...

It's the one city in the world that I REALLY want to visit. And your pics have just whetted my appetite. Beautiful.

Susan said...

Oh you've made up my mind. I have GOT to get there somehow. Your photos have been wonderful and your stories have made them even better. Thank you for sharing it all!

And, where will you go next?

SandyCarlson said...

That is one spectacular place. The tower looks like the one in Waterbury that was modeled after one in Italy. How small is the world!

Mary Elizabeth said...

Lovely and beautiful place. Great shots!
Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful week.
Mary Elizabeth Now and Then.

kayleen said...

What absolutely gorgeous architechture and a wonderfully inforative post. It's wonderful touring Italy with you.

Nebraska Birding

Mojo said...

Fantastic perspectives! Hard to argue with centuries old architecture framed by a perfect blue sky.

Carver said...

This was a fascinating post. The architecture is so beautiful and the text very informative.

Thanks for visiting mine. You asked if the wind machine I showed on mine worked and I think it's just there for art not function.

Maria said...

Oh my God, how beautiful! I visited Orvieto five years ago when the church was still reconstructed, and visited Florence in 19..82 - I love my memories so very much! Thanks for reminding me...

Laurieluc said...

Those shots are beautiful--what a clear blue day! Thanks for sharing!

Babooshka said...

Fascinating and very indepth write up and an absolutely fabulous image.

Janie said...

Fantastic photos! I've always wanted to see Florence, and seeing your pictures just makes me want to go all the more.

Guy D said...

What a magnificent building, great photos and info.

Have a great week!
Guy
Regina In Pictures

fishing guy said...

Erin: That is an outstanding capture of the tower. You had a great trip.

Arija said...

Your first photo is amazing, usually the square is crowded and it is very difficult to get a good shot of the palazzo that is not too distorted because of its height. You have gone to a lot of trouble to research the history as well. Excellent post.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Who needs a watch with a clock like that in town?

mannanan said...

Thanks for the great tour od a stunning city, love it. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

Ruth said...

Interesting post. Your pictures are so warm and beautiful. I hope to see that area someday.

Titania said...

Great post about Florence. I have been many times, many years ago. I regret now that I did not visit Florence in o7 because I used up my time in Venice which was very nice too.

mountain.mama said...

I've been enjoying the vicarious trip to Italy. My LUCKY daughter gets to go in June for her graduation present. I'm jealous because I've never been, but some day.

alicesg said...

Wow amazing buildings. Love the beautiful architectural designs. Thanks for your comments in my blog. :)

Sue said...

I love your photos, and how you framed the edges of the sky. Thanks for visiting my SkyWatch post.

Gaelyn said...

Erin, these photos are amazing. What a wonderful post. So enjoying your trip.

Ebie (The Main-Ingredient) said...

I am so envious with the beauty and splendor of Italy. Hope to visit someday.

Lilli & Nevada said...

What great photos you did a fantastic job

Indrani said...

Italy is like a dream place to me. So you can imagine how much these pictures mean to me. Head up and what wonderful captures!

These days travel means equip yourself with memory cards,isn't it?

Lew said...

Beautful shots of one of the world's most beautiful cities! I hope there was no damage there from he earthquake near L'Aquila.

magiceye said...

thank you for the wonderful tour...

antigoni said...

Great trip!Thanks for sharing all these information.
You are lucky you left Italy before the earthquake.

thepurplejournal said...

Italy is certainly one of the countries I'd love to visit one day, but till that happens, I'm fortunate to have you bring Italy to me online :)

I love how you've captured the beautiful details in your photographs. And the perfect blue sky makes it more pretty. Thank you for sharing these and the information. Had a lot of fun reading this post.

MedaM said...

Great post and the first photo is just amazing!

Jack and Joann said...

Glad you got to go to Florence, Italy. What a great midsize Italian city!

Lakshmi said...

I regret missing Florence when I went to Rome and Venice last year..wonderful pics

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

More wonderful pictures from you visit, I have yet to make it to Florence, but hope to someday.

Gattina said...

Beautiful pictures ! I have been there a few years ago.

Mariz said...

I wish I could bask at this with my own eyes someday. Great photos!

maryt/theteach said...

Extraordinary My World shots! I was there many years ago! There are so many opportunities for great photos in Italy especially Florence! :)

Pagan Sphinx said...

Your photos are truly spectacular. It was nice visiting here. I'll be back for sure!

Tarolino said...

These photos just get better and better. Here we have this square design that I so much like. The last one took me by surprise but I like it. Old meets modern.

Shannon said...

Lovely photos. I would love to visit Italy someday. Is this anywhere near where the earthquake struck?

chrome3d said...

Excellent photos of a beautiful building.

I remember that a friend of mine had a poster of the facades of this building on the wall of his office as he liked it so much.

Lawstude said...

Very imposing structure. Great shot as always.

For my part of the world, since we are celebrating Lenten Season, I would like to share another island-paradise which is perfect for the season. Please check out Cagbalete - Perfect Place for Reflection. Have a memorable Lenten Season everyone and God Bless!

Gill - That British Woman said...

lovely photos, never been to Italy, maybe one day!!

Gill in Canada

SandyCarlson said...

A stunning view! These are really great shots.

The Whispering Poppies said...

The architecture in Italy truly is amazing!!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Such striking architecture, Erin. You captured it all so beautifully. :)

~Lisa

Susie of Arabia said...

You would make a great tour guide! Lovely photos!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.