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- Loggia del Bigallo: Overall view at corner ›
Loggia del Bigallo: Overall view at corner
It is one of a dozen public loggias in the city, in this case part of a construction that housed the Compagnia della Misericordia, who commissioned the structure. The open loggia served to shelter lost children and unwanted infants who were abandoned to the care of the brotherhood, the "Company of Mercy". In 1425 the Compagnia di Santa Maria del Bigallo transferred here as well. The Compagnia del Bigallo cared for pilgrims and travellers. Its two arched bays are richly applied with bas-reliefs of prophets, angels, the Virtues, a Christ giving the benediction and an Ecce Homo. In 1697, the arches were immured in order to provide more space for the oratory that is attached to the loggia; the masonry was removed in 1889, revealing the long-hidden decoration.