Since Via Tornabuoni was 'pedestrianised', the base of the Colonna della Giustizia (Column of Justice) has become a popular place for people to sit and watch the world go by.
The column, which stands in Piazza Santa Trinita, was presented to Duke Cosimo I de' Medici (b. 1519/ r. 1537-74) by Pope Pius IV (r. 1559-65).
The 11-metre high monolithic granite column, which came from the ancient Roman Baths of Caracalla, arrived in Florence in 1563 and was placed on its pedestal in 1565.
The column marks the victory of Florence against Siena at the Battle of Marciano (August 2nd 1554). It was erected on the spot where the duke first heard news of the triumph.
In 1580 the statue of Justice was added to the top of the column. The statue, which is made from three blocks of porphyry, one of the hardest stones to work, took Francesco del Tadda (and his son Romolo) almost 11 years to complete.
At the western end of the Parco delle Cascine stands a monument to an Indian Maharajah, whose only connection with Florence was that he happened to die here.
On November 29th, 1870, Rajaram Chuttraputti, the Maharajah of Kohlapur, arrived in Florence. The Maharajah had been staying in London and was on his way back to India. However, fate had determined that he would never see his homeland again. No sooner had the twenty-one year old Maharajah checked into his hotel, than he was suddenly taken ill and died!
Chuttraputti was a Brahmin and, according to the rites of his caste, his body had to be cremated at the confluence of two rivers. The only convenient site in the city was at the point where the Mugnone flows into the Arno. Six years later a monument, which was designed by Major Charles Mant, was erected in his memory on the site of the cremation. The bust was carved by Charles Francis Fuller, an English sculptor, who was resident in Florence.
A century after his death the Maharajah gained a sort of fame when a bridge was built (1972-78) across the Arno very near to his memorial. The bridge is known as the Ponte all' Indiano.
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