298 Route 52. FLORENCE. Bibl. Nazionale.
The first floor of the edifice contains the Biblioteca Na¬
zionale (open daily except on Sundays and festivals, in summer
9—5, in winter 9—4 o'clock, entrance by the 8th door from the
piazza), which has been formed since 1860 by the union of the
grand-ducal library, formerly in the Pitti Palace, and the still
more extensive Biblioteca Magliabecchiana. The latter, founded
by Antonio Magliabecchi, a jeweller of Florence, has been dedi¬
cated to the use of the public since 1747. The present library
contains about 200,000 vols and 8000 MSS., comprising the most
important works from the literature of other nations. There are
also several very rare impressions: the first printed Homer, Flo¬
rence 1488; Cicero ad Familiares, Venice 1469; Dante, Florence
1481. Every facility is afforded for the use of the library; to
the r. at the end of the great reading-saloon is the room con¬
taining the catalogues. — The staircase to the r. of the library
leads to the * Central- Archives of the state, arranged by
Bonaini, one of the most imposing collections of this description.
Some of the apartments here are fitted up for the sessions of
the Italian senate.
Quitting the Uffizi, the stranger should now cross the Piazza
della Signoria, and turning to the 1., proceed by the handsome
Via dei Calzajoli towards the Piazza del Duomo.
To the 1. on the way thither is the church of *0r San Mi¬
chele (PL 31), the square form of which still proves its original
destination as a corn-hall (Horreum Sancti Michaelis) erected by
Arnolfo in 1284, and converted into a church at the expense of the
guild of weavers by Taddeo Gaddi in 1337, and Andrea Orcagna in
1343. The structure is in the Gothic style, richly adorned inter¬
nally and externally with sculptures. On the E. side, towards
the Via Calzajoli, (r.) St. Luke, by Giovanni da Bologna; Christ
and St. Thomas, by Andrea del Verocchio. (1.) John the Bap¬
tist, by Ghiberti; beneath, eagles on bales of wool. Then, as the
spectator proceeds farther 1., on the S. side (r.) St. John, by
Baccio da Monteiupo. The adjacent canopy formerly protected a
Madonna by Mino da Fiesole (at present in the interior of the
church, p. 299), now St. George by Donatello, which was ori¬
ginally destined for the vacant niche to the N.; (1.) St. James
by Nanni dAnionio di Banco. St. Mark, by Donatello. On the
W. facade, statues of (r.) St. Eligius, by Nanni di Banco, be¬
neath it a relief with a farrier; St. Stephen, by Lorenzo Ghiberti;
(1.) St. Matthew, by the same master, or perhaps by Michelozzo.
On the N. side (r.) an empty niche (see above). Four saints by
Nanni di Banco, with relief representing a sculptor's studio.
(1.) St. Philip, by the same. St. Peter, by Donatello. The co¬
loured medallions in bas-relief below the niches are by Luca della
In the Interior, consisting of two naves separated by two