The statue of David is an iconic feature in Florence, Italy, created by the famous Italian artist Michelangelo. The marble statue is 17 feet tall and depicts the Biblical figure David, prior to his battle with Goliath. It is definitely a must-see when in Florence, but there is more than one way to see it. In this post I am sharing where to find the original statue, and where to see two replicas for free!
Who is David?
David was a young shepherd who went on to become a king of Israel. The famous statue depicts David moments before his battle with Goliath. At the time, the Philistines were at war with the Israelites. Goliath was the champion of the Philistines, and for 40 days he challenged the Israelites to choose one man to fight against him, but no one stepped forward. Until David. The young shepherd went to battle alone, with no shields or armour and killed Goliath with one stone. Michelangelo was the first artist to depict David before the battle, instead of the usual triumphant stance over Goliath.
All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. -1 Samuel 17:47
Where is the original David statue?
The 17-foot marble statue was commissioned to go up high on the Cathedral of Florence along with other statues. However, after it was finished it was decided the statue was far too incredible to be so high up, and instead it was placed outside in Piazza della Signoria, a large square in Florence.
In 1873, the statue was moved inside the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. This gallery is most famous for housing David along with other statues by Michelangelo and paintings by famous Italian artists. Tickets to the gallery are fairly expensive at 17.75 Euros, so we decided to skip it this time around. However, you cannot go to Florence without seeing David, so we saw two replicas for free instead!
Where to see David for free?
I know some may say nothing compares to seeing the original, but for us at the time, the David replicas around Florence definitely satisfied all our David needs!
There are two places to see the statue of David for free: one is the original location of the statue in Piazza della Signoria outside Palazzo Vecchio, and one is in Piazzale Michelangelo. Both are incredible to see in person.
Seeing it in Piazza della Signoria is special since that was its original location. I also loved seeing it in Piazzale Michelangelo because of how grand it is in the middle of the square surrounded by incredible views of the city.
Have you ever seen the David statue up close in Florence? Did you pay to see the real thing, or did you stick to the replicas like I did? Let me know!