Florence – Palazzo Vecchio (Hall of Geographical Maps)

This was my favourite room in the Palazzo Vecchio, it’s the Hall of Geographic Maps, which is located on the second floor of the building.

Work on the room started in 1563 in what was previously a courtyard, with the external arches of the windows which once faced outwards still being visible at the rear.

The globe was designed for the room and there were originally meant to be two, with the other being hung from the ceiling and which would have been a celestial globe. Unfortunately, this globe is no longer in particularly good condition due to a decision made long ago to place it in an exposed position at the Uffizi.

The aim of the room’s design was to show everything that was known in the universe at that time and there were also meant to be 300 paintings of individuals around the top of the room. 200 of these were painted, but they’re now at the nearby Uffizi. There was also a planetary clock designed by Lorenzo della Volpaia located in the room and although this was destroyed during the seventeenth century, there’s a copy at the Galileo Museum.

There’s a marvellous artist’s recreation of how the room was designed to look at https://wtfarthistory.com/post/57615356623/sala-del-mappamondo-florence.

These are the maps on the wall, much more on these in later posts….. There were 57 of them, all hand-painted, with 53 of them surviving today. Behind the frontage there was cabinet space and they would have included items from the geographical location that was painted on the front.