The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) was built beginning in 1299.
Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, it was built on the site of the Uberti clan’s Palazzo dei Fanti and
Palazzo dell’Escutore di Giustizia, which were both destroyed when the Uberti were exiled from Florence
at the end of the war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines (supporters of the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor,
respectively). The city wanted a palazzo which would be worthy of the city’s importance, and provide sanctuary
during times of strife for the magistrates (Signoria). They bought up properties of the families living around the
destroyed Uberti palazzos and created the Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio on this land, to
ensure that the Uberti clan could never return to Florence, since their ancestral homes had been erased.
I have split this section into two pages. The first page contains images of the exterior and the cortile
(Michelozzo’s courtyard), as well as images of the interior in the public spaces other than the Medici’s
Apartment of the Elements (the residence of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici and Eleonora di Toledo).
The second page has images of the Apartment of the Elements, detailing the frescoes and sculptures
in a showcase of the architecture and art created by the most powerful family in Florence, the Medici,
principal patrons of Art and Architecture in the revolutionary period we know as the Renaissance.
Click a display composite below to select a page.