The Museum of the Medici Chapels is an interesting historical site nestled in the heart of Florence, in Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini. Born from some areas of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, now part of the Museums of Florence and it owes its great importance to be the burial place of the de’ Medici, the dynasty symbol of political power of the Tuscan capital. It is possible to access the Museum of the Medici Chapels, passing Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini and to enter from the rear of the church. The first room that visitors encounter is the Crypt, which houses the tombs of the Grand Dukes and their family and where we can admire an interesting collection of relics of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Museum of the Medici Chapels, a journey into the city’s history
One of the most important parts of the Museum of Medici Chapels is the magnificent octagonal structure of the Chapel of the Princes. It is surmounted by the beautiful Dome of San Lorenzo, only second in size in the city to that of Brunelleschi, designed by Cosimo I and realized by Matteo Nigetti on a design by Don Giovanni de’ Medici. The Dome affects mainly for the wealthy Florentine inlays made with the colors of porphyry and granite, an art that touches here its peak. The Museum of Medici Chapels houses the tombs of Cosimo I, Cosimo II and Cosimo III, whose bodies are actually well hidden in the crypt by Buontalenti. Behind the altar there is an entrance that provides access to a small room which houses valuable relics.
Museum of the Medici Chapels, a piece of Florentine mosaic
The visit to the Museum of Medici Chapels continues with the New Sacristy, built in the 16th century by Michelangelo, embellished with triumphal arches and monumental tombs dedicated to Giuliano Duke of Nemours and his nephew Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino and a Madonna and Child placed at the center of the structure. Beneath the altar are buried Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano de’ Medici. The complex is open daily from 08:15 to 16:50. Part of the complex is also the Lorraine Crypt, where are the remains of the family of Lorraine and the funerary monument to Cosimo the Elder “Pater Patrie”. The Brunelleschi Hotel is located in Piazza Santa Elisabetta, it is perfect for a stay in the city and to discover the site of the Medici, located a few meters away. The Museum of Medici Chapels is closed on the 2nd and 4th Sunday and 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday of each month, New Year’s Day, May 1st and Christmas Day.