Milan Cathedral known as Duomo di Milano is one of the top tourist attractions in Italy and the city’s symbol, being located right in the center of Milan. It stands out for its unique architecture also having a cultural meaning for Italians. Milan Cathedral is the largest church in the city and it’s also considered the 5th largest church in the whole world.
As you enter Duomo di Milano you get the feeling that you’re actually walking through the pages of history. Words aren’t enough to describe the scenery that’s opening from the entrance. Once you step in you’ll see a whole heritage of extravagant art works and statues that seem creating an inspiring mystic atmosphere making your visit a lifetime experience. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with three main statues standing at the altars, which are the statue to the Saint Bartholomew Flayed (1562) by Marco d’Agrate, the Arcimboldi monument and the tombs of Marco Carelli (who contributed in construction works of the Duomo by donating 35,000 ducati for it). It should be noted that the number of statues adorning the interior of the cathedral is 3159. They say if all the statues were placed on each other the height of the ”tower” would be about 5300 meters. Among the most interesting artworks are the Renaissance marble altar and the Trivulzio Candelabrum, which particularly stands out for being an artwork from the 12th century. A part of it is embellished with images of animals, vines as well as vegetables. Another interesting fact about the cathedral is that right above the apse a red glass bulb can be found, which is said to have a symbolic meaning, as it’s where one of the nails from Jesus’s Crucifixion is kept.
Historical Facts about Duomo di Milano
The construction of Milan Cathedral is linked with the name of Antonio da Saluzzo who was a bishop during that time, to be more concrete in 1385, and due to his commission it became a reality. The whole project was supported by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first duke of Milan. It is notable that he invited architects from all corners of Europe in order to work on it. The construction of Duomo di Milano started in 1386 but it took about six centuries to be finally finished, which is one of the most impressing facts about it. Officially they say that the construction works were finished in 1965. Although it took centuries to be constructed and many architects and masters have worked on it, today Duomo di Milano looks homogenous in a breathtaking luxurious Gothic style. Another important thing that you need to know about Duomo is that it’s dedicated to St. Mary of the Nativity. So aside from its cultural and architectural meaning it also has a religious value for the Catholic world.
The height of the cathedral is 157 meters and it can host about 40,000 people at a time. For the creation of the building masters have mainly used brick faced with marble. There has been carried out an archaeological excavation beneath the cathedral, during which archaeologists found foundations of a Paleochristian Baptistery dating back to the 4th century. Some experts claim that they are foundations from the Baptistery of Augustine, who was the student of bishop of Milan St. Ambrose, while others argue on that.
The Roof of Duomo di Milano
Luckily to get to the rooftop of the cathedral, you don’t have to take the stairs, as there is also an elevator for the lazy ones. The roof is one of the best places to take pictures of the city and that’s the reason why it’s usually crowded up there. However it’s totally worth it, as the view opening from the roof is magical! In fact, if you’re lucky enough you might get to see the Alps and Apennines from there.