Boboli Gardens

The Boboli Gardens ( Giardino di Boboli ) is a park in Florence, home to a small but important collection of sculptures.

The plant, which is located behind the Pitti Palace, the headquarters of the Medici as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, is one of the most famous Italian gardens of the 16th century. In horticulture, the style of the time he has long axes, wide gravel paths, a considerable " furniture " by stone elements, the lavish use of statues and fountains, and a division into semi- private and public spaces, which was formed by classical accents: grottos, nymphs, Garden Temple and the like. The openness of the garden, which allows extensive views over the city, was unusual for the time.

The Boboli Gardens was created by Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Grand Duke Cosimo I. The first phase had just begun by Niccolo Tribolo when he died in 1550, and was continued by Bartolomeo Ammannati, who was supported by Giorgio Vasari in the planning from which some of the caves were built during the sculptures of Bernardo Buontalenti come. The architecture of the grotto in the courtyard that separates the palace from the garden, is also of Buontalenti.

The main axis, which is directed to the rear façade of the Palazzo rises from a low Amphitheater - reminiscent in shape to half a classical hippodrome - the Bobolihügel up. In the middle of the amphitheater is an Egyptian obelisk, which was brought from the Villa Medici in Rome. This main axis ends at the Neptune fountain ( the irreverent Florentine " fork fountain" call ) and a sculpture by Stoldo Lorenzi. A long second axis at right angles to the main axis performs a series of terraces and water features.

The garden was extended and rebuilt in several phases. In the 17th century it gained its present size of 4.5 acres. He is now an outdoor museum of garden sculpture, is included Roman antiquities as well as works of the 16th and 17th centuries.

In the first phase of the work, the amphitheater was excavated on the hillside behind the palace. Initially consisting of dug terraces, it was only later expanded in stone and provided with statues that are based on ancient mythology, such as the Oceanus Fountain, which was sculpted by Giambologna, and later its current location to another location on the garden got. The small Madama Grotto and the great cave were begun by Vasari and completed by Ammannati and Buontalenti 1583-1593.

The large cave is a remarkable example of Mannerism. Interior and exterior decorated with stalactites and originally equipped with water features and lush vegetation, the grotto is divided into three main parts. The first should be created with frescoes the impression of a natural cave in which shepherds could protect them from wild animals, and originally contained Michelangelo's " Prisoners " (now replaced with copies, the originals is in the Galleria dell'Accademia ), which actually were provided for the grave of Pope Julius II. Other rooms of the cave contain Giambologna's famous Bathing Venus and Paris - and - Helen - group by Vincenzo de Rossi in the 16th century.

The plant can be visited, admission is free of charge.