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Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral (Italian. Duomo di Milano ) is the Cathedral in Milan, located in the historic centre of the city.

Built in the flamboyant Gothic style of white marble. The construction started in 1386, but it ended only in the early XIX century, when by order of Napoleon was over the design of the facade. Some parts, however, finish and later until 1965. Dedicated To The Nativity Of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

World famous fifth-largest Church in the world (after the Cathedral in Yamoussoukro, Rome, London and Seville) is located in the centre of Milan is its symbol. This is a late Gothic building, which contains a lot of steeples and sculptures, marble pointed turrets and towers, connected by a large number of floating support.

It is the fourth largest in Europe after St. Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican, St. Paul’s in London and Seville Cathedral in Seville. In terms of capacity, inferior only among the Gothic churches of Seville, and among the Italian churches — only to St. Peter’s in Rome. One only of statues in the Cathedral there are 3400.


Europe’s only white marble Gothic colossus was built several centuries: the first blocks and the Foundation of the temple laid in 1386 when the legendary ruler Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and the project of the facade, completed in 1813, Karamanti, was adopted by Napoleon in 1805.

XIV—XVIII centuries.

At the place where began to build in 1386, the Duomo (so-called by the Milanese), in prehistoric times stood a sanctuary of the Celtic, under the Romans, temple of Minerva, then the Church of Santa Tecla, built in the fourth century and destroyed in the VI and VII century Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was demolished, when they began to clear the space for the Cathedral.

The Cathedral it was decided to build in the Gothic style, as long on this side of the Alps is not seen. Specialists in Gothic were invited from France and Germany, although an initial draft was developed by the Italian Simone de Orsenigo. For 10 years as chief architect succeeded each other, the Germans and Italians, while in 1470 the Church is not engaged in Guiniforte Solari. He invited his consultants Bramante and Leonardo, and those proposed to dilute the more Gothic modern Renaissance elements, resulting in the octagonal base of the dome. In 1417 the main altar of the unfinished Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Martin V, as a whole, the Cathedral began to function in 1572, after it was unveiled by cardinal Carlo Borromeo, future Saint.

In 1769 appeared the 106-meter spire with a four-meter statue of the Madonna of gilded bronze. After this came the decree that no building in Milan should not obscure the Holy patroness of the city (on the roof only offender of this rule — the skyscraper “Pirelli” — set exact scale replica of the statue of the Madonna).

XIX century

Gothic style is not lost in Italy, his followers, and in this style over Milan Cathedral in 1813 Amati architects and Sanaya (Giuseppe Zanoia). By order of Napoleon Amati worked on the façade facing the square, and following the project’s first architect, erected a “stone forest” of 135 marble eagle, looking to the sky and conveying the mood of Gothic architecture.

External and internal decoration

The total length of the temple is 158 meters, width of the transverse nave is 92 m, the height of the spire to 106.5 m. the Cathedral can accommodate up to 40,000 people.

The main attraction of the Cathedral is the Golden statue of Milan’s patron Saint ( La Madonnina ). Above the altar is a nail, which, according to legend, was removed from the cross on which Jesus was crucified Christ.

The Cathedral is the mausoleum of Gian Giacomo Medici (1563), Egyptian porphyry tub IV century, used as a baptismal font and a statue of the Christian Martyr St Bartholomew; also ornamented with carved wooden choir. The first six Windows of the right nave wall covered with stained-glass Windows of the XV century — the oldest in this Basilica.

Every year in November / December in the Cathedral exhibited quadroni of St. Carlo Borromeo is a series of large paintings of scenes from the life of the Archbishop of Milan Carlo Borromeo, made by a group of Italian artists in the early seventeenth century.

On the murals of the Cathedral, among others, worked as a painter and architect Alessandro Sanquirico [it] .

From the street via a staircase from the North wall of the temple and lift from the side of the apse it is possible to climb to the roof of the Cathedral overlooking the city.

Interesting facts

December 13, 2009 in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threw a miniature replica of Milan Cathedral.

Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral (Italian. Duomo di Milano ) is the Cathedral in Milan, located in the historic centre of the city. Built in the flamboyant Gothic style of white marble. The…


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