Originally, the building served as the seat of the offices (uffici in Italian) of the city administration from the middle of the 15th century. The order to gather important administrative institutions in one building dates back to Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Between 1559 and 1581, the building complex was then built by the architects Vasari, Buontalenti and Parigi the Younger.Soon the art collection managed by Cosimo's heir, Francesco de' Medici was part of the Uffizi Gallery. From 1789, the Medici art collection, which had been housed in the building since the beginning, was also opened to the public. Some art historians therefore consider the galleries of the Uffizi the first museum in Europe.When the Medici dynasty finally fell, the once powerful family bequeathed its art treasures to the city of Florence on condition that they never leave their location.