Adjoining the famous Uffizi Gallery is a famous and fascinating building called the Loggia dei Lanzi.
The Loggia dei Lanzi is found in the centre of Florence. It is located on a corner of the Piazza della Signoria, hence its other name the Loggia Della Signoria. It is an outdoor sculpture gallery with open-air archways, filled with a variety of statues.
History of the Loggia dei Lanzi
The Loggia dates back to the 14th century when it was built to house public ceremonies. Fast forward to the 16th century, the Medici family took over and decided to transform the space into one of the world’s first open air galleries.
The Medici family commissioned many artists from the Renaissance period to create the statues that decorate the Loggia Dei Lanzi. In the late 16th century, the Uffizi palace was built and adjoined the Loggia. Renaissance artist Bernardo Buontalenti built a rooftop terrace above the Loggia so that the Medicis could look out over the square from above. Today, the terrace is part of the Uffizi Museum.
The statues of the Loggia dei Lanzi
The sculptures inside the gallery consist of statues that date back to the Renaissance period. There are many sculptures found here, including both commissions and pieces that were moved from other locations.
· Perseus – The Perseus statue was placed in the Loggia in the mid-1500s. It depicts the mythological story of Perseus being ordered to bring King Polydectes the head of Medusa.
· Hercules and the Centaur Nessus – This statue was created in 1599 but didn’t find its way to the Loggia until the 19th century. It is a lesser-known sculpture by Giambologna, whose work was often criticized by Michelangelo.
· Patroclus and Menelaus – This marble sculpture used to be located by Ponte Vecchio before being moved to the Loggia.
Other attractions nearby
The Loggia dei Lanzi is located in the corner of the Piazza della Signoria. This plaza is a large open space with lots of attractions to see!
· Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) – The Fountain of Neptune is a large fountain located In the Piazza Della Signoria. The flowing sculpture depicts Neptune with a series of mythical figures.
· Palazzo Vecchio – The Palazzo Vecchio is hard to miss when standing in the Piazza della Signoria. The large stone building has a tall bell tower jutting from its roof. It dates back over seven centuries, but today it is the home of the town hall of Florence.
· Uffizi Gallery – The Uffizi Gallery is connected to the Loggia and is a must-see when visiting Florence. There are many famous works of art to be seen here. Two of the most famous artworks are “Venus” and “Allegory of Spring”. You can visit the Uffizi gallery while exploring Florence, or on a guided tour.