Medici Chapel Overview

In the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which the Medici family regarded as their personal church, the Medici Chapels were constructed as the family's private tomb. Together with Pope Leo X, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to construct the Sagrestia Nuova as the Medici family mausoleum in 1520. The chapel was intended to be a pendant to Sagrestia Vecchia by Filippo Brunelleschi. After Michelangelo moved from Florence to Rome in 1534, Giorgio Vasari eventually finished the project in March 1520. The chapel was intended to house the graves of the two Medici "Magnifici" and the two Medici "Capitani": Lorenzo the Magnificent, his brother Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo Duke of Urbino, and Giuliano Duke.

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Why Visit the Medici Chapels?

To learn more about the history of a city, a family, and an artist, explore the Medici Chapels. We can witness the magnificence of Michelangelo's creation in the Medici Chapels, which are behind the church of San Lorenzo. This museum displays the Treasury of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which is known for its reliquaries and liturgical goods and is acknowledged as an example of Renaissance and Baroque goldsmiths, in addition to its sculptures and architectural decorations.


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What To See In The Museum Of The Medici Chapels?

Crypt
Crypt

The graves and remains of the grand dukes are kept in the crypt. They are surrounded by vaults with pietra serena pilasters providing support. You'll initially come across glass cases housing a portion of the Treasure of San Lorenzo. They are home to incredibly priceless reliquaries that the Medici Grand Dukes between the 15th and 18th centuries ordered. They are crafted from silver, rock crystal, and gold. A papal headgear adorned with pearls, a processional banner bearing the Medici coat of arms, and a pastoral staff are presents that Pope Leo X gave to the Medici. As you approach the crypt, there is a sizable and exquisite bronze sculpture of Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici. She was the final member of the Medici family, and she left the entire Medici art collection to the state.


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The Chapel of the Princes
The Chapel of the Princes

The primary mausoleum for the Medici Family is the Chapel of the Princes. It is a blatantly extravagant and enormous room that is somewhat larger than the basilica itself. Cosimo I possessed complete authority. He desired for his chapel to be a representation of the power, wealth, and splendor of the Medici family. The chapel was created by Matteo Nigetti with Giovanni de' Medici's help after he won a competition (also an architect). Semi-precious stones and polychrome marble adorn the chapel's walls. They are to be both priceless and everlasting, proving the Medici dynasty's immortality.


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Michelangelo’s New Sacristy
Michelangelo’s New Sacristy

The Medici Chapels' (Cappelle Medicee) New Sacristy, the most exquisite Renaissance building, is the final destination on a tour of the Medici Chapels. Michelangelo created and embellished the chapel almost fully. He was supposed to paint frescos as well, but before he could, he left for Rome. Michelangelo defied conventions of proportion and traditional architectural tradition when creating the New Sacristy. He created a Mannerist setting with unconventional arrangements that disregarded classical forms. It's possible to classify the chapel as "sculpted architecture." It resembles a dramatic theater and is designed to highlight the significance of the sculptural ensembles.The Pantheon in Rome served as the inspiration for the cupola. Terracotta shingles wrap the arched dome.A temple-shaped lantern with a gold ball and cross is placed on it. The lighting in the chapel was a key concern for Michelangelo. At the times of day they symbolized, the windows shine light on the tomb sculptures.


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Plan Your Visit to Medici Chapel

Essential Information
Best Time to Visit
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Visitor's Tips
Essential Information
  • Address: Medici Chapels is located at piazza di Madonna degli Aldobrandini, Italy
  • Opening hours: Medici Chapels opens at 8:30 am – 1:30 pm everyday.
  • Closed: Medici Chapels remain 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.
  • Dress code: You can wear any outfit you like since Medici Chapels is not as strict as the church, casual summer outfits are accepted, but bathing suits and excessively revealing outfits are not allowed.
  • How to Reach: Medici Chapel is accessible by bus, train, or light rail. Following are the routes and lines that have close stops: Bus: 20, 301 A, 6A, C2- Train: R- Light Rail: T1, T2

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FAQs of Medici Chapel

Why is Medici Chapel famous?

    The Medici Chapel in Florence (Cappelle Medicee) is a museum famous for featuring the Sagrestia Nuova mausoleum by Michelangelo.

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