The Medici Chapels house the tombs of over 50 members of the noble Florentine family.
In addition to the crypt where the Medici are buried, the complex includes the Chapel of the Princes as a mausoleum of the Medici and the New Sacristy with the tombs of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Giuliano de’ Medici.
The New Sacristy was designed by Michelangelo on a previous plant, began work in 1520 and carried them out for about 14 years until his departure for Rome.
During the work on the New Sacristy Florence experienced some of the darkest episodes in its history with the expulsion of the Medici and the siege of republican Florence in 1530.
The Chapel of the Princes was intended to be the monumental family mausoleum and houses the cenotaphs of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. Each niche had to contain a statue, but today only those of Ferdinand I and Cosimo II remain.
In the Chapel there are also the coats of arms of the main cities of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany while the dome is frescoed with episodes from Genesis and the New Testament.
In the Museum of the Medici Chapels there are numerous medieval reliquaries collected during the period of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
The Grand Duchy of Tuscany had a considerable number of relics compared to other states, especially thanks to Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, the future Pope Clement VII, who contributed decisively to the growth by enriching relics often coming from the Roman catacombs and taken from the Papal States.