Building of the palace was commenced in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari for Cosimo I dei Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates - hence the name uffizi, meaning offices. Construction work ended in 1581. Over the years, parts of the palace evolved into a storage place of many works of art collected by the Medici family. After the decline of this family, the art treasures remained in Florence, forming one of the first modern museums.
In 1993, a car bomb destroyed and damaged parts of the palace; a number of pictures were destroyed, several more were damaged.
The Uffizi holds one of the richest art collections. Among its paintings are many works by Italian and Flemish masters, such as Botticelli, Michelangelo and Rubens. The collection also includes many sculptures.