The Medici Chapel is part of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Florence and is the burial place for the Medici Family. It’s one of the most visited Museums in Florence with over 300.000 visitors a year. The entrance is not on the same side of the entrance for the church of San Lorenzo but in the near, from Piazza Madonna degli Aldobrandini.
The Crypt where Cosimo dei Medici and Donatello are buried
The Crypt is the first area accessed from the entrance of the museum, here on the floor are the tombstones of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, their spouses and closest family members. From this room there is access via two staircases: above the Chapel of the Princes, down the chapel another crypt, where are the tombs of Cosimo the Elder and Donatello.
A Spectacle of Shiny Colored Marbles and Precious Stones: The Cappella dei Principi
The magnificent octagonal room is 28 meters wide and is topped by the dome of San Lorenzo, which reaches a height of 59 meters , the second after that of Brunelleschi. The dazzling splendor is given by the rich Florentine mosaics created by precious stones, an art which is still practiced today for decoration of furniture and vases by artisan. In the niches should have found place the statues of the Grand Dukes, though they were only placed those of Ferdinand I and Cosimo II.
The New Sacristy
Built by Michelangelo between 1521 and 1534 , it is accessed by a corridor from the Chapel of the Princes. Commissioned by Pope Leo X and Cardinal Giulio de ‘Medici (later Pope Clement VII ), Michelangelo created starting from the same plan of the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi and divided the space into more complex forms. Under the altar are also buried Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano de ‘ Medici, for him there was never time to build a monumental burial: in 1534 , in fact, Michelangelo left Florence and finally left the work unfinished.