Bargello National Museum
museum in Florence, Italy.



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Bargello National Museum
museum in Florence, Italy.
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Leonardo da Vinci watched someone get murdered here.

Or "executed," if you want to be technical. But, in this case, there's very little difference. The Pazzi family aligned with Pope Sixtus IV against the ever-powerful Medici clan. Their first plot against Florence's preeminent overlords was pretty typical wealthy-people-conspiring kind of fare. The plan was for the Pazzis to finance a bunch of land purchases for the Papacy on the cheap in return for lucrative mining rights. They went for the slow con, which was The Pazzis' second worst mistake. The Medicis quashed the mine plan, so everyone involved turned it up to 11. 

The new plan was straight up ripped out of The Godfather playbook: Kill the Medici brothers at mass. The Pazzis only got one of the Medicis, their worst mistake, and Florence rose up to defend their tyrannical overlords. Go figure. The last remaining Pazzi was hunted down and hung by the neck outside one of the Bargello's windows. Leonardo was on the scene doing what he did best -- sketching the grisly mess for us to enjoy today.

The Bargello, obviously, wasn't always a museum. It's one of the oldest buildings in Florence, being built in 1255 by a commission from the People's Guard. They were looking for a fortress to survive a siege in case the wealthy families of Florence wanted to take all the power in town for themselves (spoiler alert: that's exactly what happened). The structure served as the home for the Captain of the People, the Florentine version of an American president. The next tenant was Florence's chief of police and, after that, the Bargello was turned into a prison. It wasn't until the mid-19th century that the Bargello, finally, became the museum it is today, displaying the greatest hits of sculpture the local archives have to offer.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Bargello

The Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, or Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy.


The word bargello appears to come from the late Latin bargillus (from Gothic bargi and German burg), meaning "castle" or "fortified tower". During the Italian Middle Ages it was the name given to a military captain in charge of keeping peace and justice (hence "Captain of justice") during riots and uproars. In Florence he was usually hired from a foreign city to prevent any appearance of favoritism on the part of the Captain. The position could be compared with that of a current Chief of police. The name Bargello was extended to the building which was the office of the captain.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Bargello.