The Medici Chapels: The Princes Chapel
The museum that we now call “The Medici Chapels” consists of three different parts:
the crypt, which is now the museum entrance in Piazza Madonna Aldobrandini, where there are the tombs of the Medici family from of Cosimo I onwards, then the Chapel of the Princes and least but not last the New Sacristy.
The Princes Chapel has got the second-largest dome of Florence. It was built in 1604 by Matteo Nigetti on behalf of Ferdinand I de Medici.
The idea was to create, within the church of the Medici (San Lorenzo), such a luxurious and wealthy place to be able to astonish all those Vips coming to Florence.
The Chapel was made with inlays of precious stones with the technique of Commesso Fiorentino. The different stones (various types of porphyry, granite, pearl, lapis lazuli , coral, carnelian ….) are cut and put next to each other and the result looks like brush strokes of color rather than stones.
In the original project, above the sarcophagus the niches should have been decorated with statues of the Medici. Unfortunately only 2 were realized those of Cosimo I and of Ferdinand II, both by Also the inner dome should have had another look: entirely covered with lapis lazuli, but the funds lacked and the Medici never finished it in the way they were supposed to.
During spring and summer the museum will close at 5 pm.