Orsanmichele

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The Church of San Michele in Orto, better known as Orsanmichele, was originally a loggia built in 1290 by Arnolfo di Cambio, in which the grain market was held; following the great fire of 1304 the structure was rebuilt by Taddeo Gaddi in 1337 on the project of Giotto. The building had a great portal that was close to build a granary. After a great pestilence the building became place of pilgrimage and became the Church of San Michele in Orto. It was lifted up of two floors. The plan is rectangular. The Church contained the best frescoes of 14th century. The most important work is the tabenacle by Andrea Orcagna: it is a tabenacle of marble with mosaics and reliefs in Florentine gothic style.

The exterior is very beautiful: the unusual character of the whole building is further emphasized by the extraordinary series of tabernacles around all four sides. Each contain the patron saint of a Guild. These are works of Ghiberti, Verrocchio, Giambologna, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Nanni di Bacco.