Spedale degli Innocenti

Europe's first orphanage

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Founded in 1421, this was Europe’s first orphanage. The portico was designed by Brunelleschi, featuring 10 terracotta medallions of babies done in 1487 by Andrea della Robbia. Another two medallions, one on either end of the portico, we added in 1845

Head to the north end of the portico to see the what was once the revolving door where people left unwanted babies. It’s now a false door, surrounded by a low railing.

Inside, on the 2nd floor, is the very worthwhile Museo dello Spedale degli Innocenti, containing works by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Marco della Robbia, Botticelli and Domenico di Michelino.

At A Glance

For entrance to the 2nd floor gallery

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