The fascinating story of Sant’Anna in the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence

The Orsanmichele Church of Florence and an important story to know

The Church of Orsanmichele in Florence is undoubtedly one of the most peculiar churches in the historic centre of the town. There are many things to know around this building, such as the curious shape of the church or the presence of tabernacles all along the walls of the edifice. In particular, a special date for the history of this building is that of July 26, a dramatic day in the old Florentine Republic’s history. That day Catholic Church celebrates Sant’Anna, patron saint of Florence and it is the day when the church of Orsanmichele is decorated with the flags of the old city’s guilds.

The reasons of the cult

But what is the link between the cult of the saint and Florence, and why is this festivity linked to the church of Orsanmichele?

The link between the figure of St. Anne and the church of Orsanmichele does not end simply in the presence of an altar dedicated to the saint inside the building, since the presence of the figure of St. Anne, made in marble form by the Renaissance sculptor Francesco da Sangallo in 1526, can be understood if the socio-economic events of Florence in the fourteenth century are retraced. Moreover, Sant’Anna was already before that time a sacred figure traditionally represented in old age to highlight her state of an old woman, so unable to have children.

The guild flags hung on the walls of Orsanmichele

Fertility and the church of Orsanmichele

The miraculous fertility of Anna, made possible thanks to divine intervention, is in fact connected with Orsanmichele, a building that, before becoming one of the most beautiful Florentine churches, was destined to a completely different use …

The fascinating history of this place, among the most significant of Florence, undoubtedly deserves a visit. Admiring its refined tabernacles with statues, works of the most important sculptors of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, and letting oneself be captivated by the colourful atmosphere of the precious marbles and the glass windows that decorate it, will become for you the discovery of one of the treasures of Florence⟣