It overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its copy of Michelangelo's David statue as well as the gallery of statues in the adjacent Loggia dei Lanzi.Originally called the Palazzo della Signoria, after the Signoria of Florence, the ruling body of the Republic of Florence, it was also given several other names: Palazzo del Popolo, Palazzo dei Priori, and Palazzo Ducale, in accordance with the vary
ing use of the palace during its long history. The building acquired its current name when the Medici duke's residence was moved across the Arno to the Palazzo Pitti.HistoryIn 1299, the commune and people of Florence decided to build a palace that would be worthy of the city's importance, and that would be more secure and defensible in times of turbulence for the magistrates of the commune. Arnolfo di Cambio, the architect of the Duomo and the Santa Croce church, began construction upon the ruins of Palazzo dei Fanti and Palazzo dell'Esecutore di Giustizia, once owned by the Uberti family. Giovanni Villani (1276 - 1348) wrote in his Nuova Cronica that the Uberti were "rebels of Florence and Ghibellines", stating that the palazzo was built to ensure that the Uberti family homes would never be rebuilt on the same location.