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Museo degli Innocenti

A Revolution in Architecture and Social Reform

Firenze / Florence - Piazza della Santissima Annunziata - View East on lo Spedale degli Innocenti 1445 by Filippo Brunelleschi & Pietro Tacca's Fountain 1629

In the 1419, the hot-tempered genius Filippo Brunelleschi struck the first blow for the restoration of classical architecture in this piazza when he built the Ospedale degli Innocenti and its famous portico—-an architectural landmark, but also a monument to Renaissance Italy’s long, hard struggle towards a social consciousness.

Despite the best intentions of the Church, medieval Florence faced an endemic crisis in dealing with its poor. Think of it as an early version of the Industrial Revolution, with the wool workshops facing booms and busts and employing an underpaid industrial proletariat rife with diseases and struggling to get by.

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Giovannidiana, PD art, Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License, Txllxt TxllxT