Demidoff Square
Related Topics:

Certini: Artisan workshop for artistic wrought iron working.

Il Bisonte: International School of Specialization in Graphic Arts.

Bardini Garden
Bardini Museum
Church of San Niccolò Oltrarno
Gate of San Miniato
Palazzo Mozzi

 

Tourist informations
Where is it: by the Lungarno Serristori.

Piazza Demidoff is one of the small squares of Oltrarno; it is characterized by the garden and by the monument to prince Nikolaj Demidoff.

History - In the spotlight

 History


Until 19th Century at the place of this square on the side of palazzo Serristori (16th Century) were an open space and some ancient mills drawing water from the river, but Florence became temporary capital of Italy the Lungarno between Bridge alle Grazie and Piazza Poggi was built, and the open place was transformed in a more elegant square.
This new square was dedicated to the Russian noble Nikolaj Demidoff, who had been ambassador in Florence in the years 1820-1828 and lived in palazzo Serristori: during that years Demidoff was a great benefactor for the city and financed several school and assistance institutes.


Click to enlarge pictures.

In 1870 the heirs of Demidoff donated to the City of Florence the marble monument (a work by Lorenzo Bartolini) portraying Nikolaj as benefactor, with children and allegorical figures of the virtues around him.

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 In the spotlight


The cast iron and glass covering was added in 1911, when the sculpture proved to have been damaged by weather inclemency.
For a long time the monument remained almost completely abandoned, until it was restored in 1982.
At the rear corners of the garden are still to be seen two perfectly mantained small shelters which were used by the gardners as tool stores. Many of them were built in the gardens and squares of Florence at the beginning of 20th Century, but they were all demolished in later periods: those in Piazza Demidoff are the only two survived until today.

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