The Hall of the Five Hundred

The Hall of the five hundred (Salone dei Cinquecento) is located in the prestigious Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It has always been the political center of this famous Italian art city.

The Hall of 500 is the largest and most prestigious hall of the Palazzo Vecchio, where still happen the most important official events involving Florence. Even today this room is the largest in Italy, regarding number of seats of power.

Hall of the Five Hundred in Palazzo Vecchio

The Hall of the five hundred was born at the behest of Savonarola. Savonarola wanted to give to then,the republic Fiorentina, a place to hold up to 500 people, so that the chosen Florentines who shared the power would avoid institutional forms concentrated in few hands. He commissioned the construction to Simone del Pollaiolo and Francesco di Domenico. Two artists completed this huge hall in a single year.

Initially on the will of Savonarola the room was very simple and without decorations that were made only later. For the decoration of the hall of the five hundred were called the most important artists of the time such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Leonardo began the realization of the Battle of Anghiari and Michelangelo devoted himself to the creation of the fresco representing the Battle of Cascina.

Unfortunately, for various reasons, both works of two great artists of the Renaissance were lost and remain only drafts and copies. After the return of the Medici dynasty to power, hall of the 500 underwent major changes both in the structure and decoration. This time the work was commissioned to Vasari who, worked nearly two decades with the help of other artists.

The hall of the five hundred ceiling was raised by 7 meters with ingenious use of beam structures. Regarding the decorations, old frescoes representing the victories of the Florentine Republic were covered with new frescoes. Those were created in order to represent the Medici dynasty power, as they used this room as a place for official meetings with other powerful people.