Bargello

Florence, Italy

Bargello

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The Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, or Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), was 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.

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