The Orsanmichele Church
You can reach the Orsanmichele church from the Duomo square by walking down via dei Calzaiuoli. The church is located in front of the church of St. Charles of the Lombards, but the entrance usually open is on the opposite side of via arte della lana.
Address: 13 via Calzaiuoli.
Times: guided tour on Tuesdays at 9:30am, 10:40am, 11:50am and Saturdays at 2:15pm, 3:25pm and 4:35pm
Price : 2€ per person
The original oratory was located in the garden of the abbey, hence the name "san Michele in orto" (garden).
It was replaced by a corn exchange, one of whose pillars bore a venerated image of the Virgin Mary. In 1304 the present building was built, but although a church was still located on the first floor, the upper floors were still used as a granary.
The facade was decorated with statues of saints protecting the various arts. The originals are in various museums in Florence. However, replicas of Lorenzo Ghiberti's St. John the Baptist and St. Matthew, Donatello's St. Mark, and Verrocchio's St. Thomas' Disbelief are still on display.
The interior is a beautiful example of medieval architecture. The frescoes on the vaults and pillars are from the 15th century. But the major work is the extraordinary tabernacle by Andrea Orcagna. All in marble, inlaid with hard stones, it houses the Madonna of Lauds by Bernado Daddi.