As it stands today, with its fortress-like form, the Bargello differs substantially from its original, much smaller structure. The building's purpose changed throughout the years as well: from prison to museum.
The Bargello not only had to undergo multiple building stages but its spaces were transformed from one purpose to another.
The entrance, which we are now facing, was only opened in 1320. The panel with the coats of arms – a nineteenth-century copy – shows the papal keys above a row of shields representing the cross of the popolo and the Florentine lily flanking the Angevin lilies in the centre, as shown in the picture above.
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