Milan Cathedral represents the true pride of all Italians, but its beauty lies not so much in the scale of scope, as in the smallest details. These nuances are a real decoration of the building, made in the Gothic style. One has only to look at the numerous faces, biblical motifs, sculptural compositions, one begins to understand the depth of study of each line, as well as the reasons for such a long construction and decoration.
Other names of Milan Cathedral
The basilica is the most popular attraction of the city, so the current name appears more in the course of excursion programs. In fact, it is a symbol of Milan, which is why it was called Duomo di Milano. The inhabitants of Italy prefer to call their sanctuary Duomo, which translates as “cathedral”.
The church also has the official name in honor of the Virgin Mary, the patroness of the city. It sounds Santa Maria Nashente. On the roof of the cathedral is a statue of the Holy Madonna, which can be seen from different points of Milan.
General characteristics of the basilica
The architectural monument is located in the central part of Milan. The square in front of the Milan Cathedral is called the Cathedral, offering a stunning view of the structure with many spiers. Despite the combination of styles, the Gothic is overwhelming, while the whole cathedral is made of white marble, which is almost never found in other similar buildings in Europe.
The massive church was built over 570 years, but now it can hold about 40,000 people. The length of the cathedral is 158 m, and the width is 92 m. The highest spire rushes into the sky at a distance of 106 m. And, although the dimensions of the facades are impressive, it is much more interesting how many sculptures were created to decorate them. The number of statues is about 3400 units, and the stucco decoration is even more.
Milestones of the Duomo
History gave a few medieval temples, because most of them were destroyed over the next century. Milan Cathedral is one of the representatives of that century, although it is difficult to say by architecture. The basilica is considered a true protracted since the foundation for it began to be laid back in 1386.
Prior to the initial stage of construction, other shrines stood on the site of the future basilica, replacing one another as the territory was conquered by various peoples. Among the predecessors are known:
- the temple of the Celts;
- the Roman temple of the goddess Minerva;
- Church of Santa Tacla;
- Church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
During the reign of Duke Jan Galeazzo Visconti, it was decided to create a new creation in the Gothic style, since nothing like this in this part of Europe did not yet exist. The first architect was Simone de Orsenigo, but he hardly coped with the task entrusted to him. Several times the project creators changed one after another: Germans, Frenchmen were appointed, then the Italians returned again. By 1417, the main altar was ready, which was consecrated even before the complete construction of the temple was erected.
In 1470 a significant post on the construction of the cathedral went to Juniforte Sopar. In order to bring uniqueness to the structure, the architect often sought advice from Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. As a result, it was decided to dilute the strict Gothic Renaissance elements that are included in the fashion at the time. Only a hundred years later, in 1572, the opening of the Milan Cathedral took place, although it was still not fully decorated. From the descriptions of historical events it is known that in 1769 the highest spire was installed, and also a gilded statue of the Madonna of 4 m height appeared.
Under Napoleon’s rule, the architects appointed Carlo Amati and Giuseppe Zanoya, who worked on the design of the facade overlooking the Cathedral Square. New masters followed the general idea of the main project, as a result of which more than a hundred marble spiers appeared. These “needles” resembled a strange forest of stone, which is very akin to the flaming Gothic. Their works became the final stage in the creation of the cathedral. True, some of the jewelry was introduced later.
Many people wonder how many years it took the construction of the Milan Cathedral, taking into account all the decoration works, because an abundance of details confirms the complexity of the process. The total number of years was 579. Few buildings can boast such a serious and lengthy approach to creating a unique work of art.
The architecture of the famous cathedral
Duomo is able to surprise every tourist with its unusual performance. You can spend hours looking at his facades with thousands of sculptures and whole compositions from the Bible, which are so skillfully made that each character is as if saturated with life. It is very difficult to study all the decorations of the cathedral, as many of them are highly located, but the pictures will help to better see the external design. On one of the walls there is a place for the names of the archbishops of the city, which have been listed for a very long time. However, there is still room for new entries for future church representatives.
A lot of surprises are hidden inside the Milan Cathedral. First, there is an unusual landmark – the nail that Jesus was crucified. When conducting a service in honor of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of God, a cloud with a nail descends over the altar to give the event more symbolism.
Secondly, in the temple, an Egyptian bath, dated 4th century, is used as a font. Also of great importance are the statue of St. Bartholomew and the mausoleum of Gian Giacomo de Medici.
Thirdly, the interior decoration is so rich and elegant that it is simply impossible not to pay attention to it. Huge columns go far up, everywhere painting and stucco. Home beauty lies in the windows, where are the stained glass windows, created in the 15th century. Photos are not able to convey the game of color as seen in the personal presence inside the temple.
The construction of the cathedral is such that you can walk along the roof and admire the historic center. Someone examines the design of statues, someone admires the cityscapes, and someone makes a different photo, surrounded by filigree spiers of marble.
Interesting information about the church of Milan
In Milan, there is a special decree prohibiting buildings from blocking the statue of the Madonna. During the construction of the Pirelli skyscraper, the condition had to be neglected, but in order to circumvent the law, it was decided to install an identical statue of the patroness of the city on the roof of a modern building.
On the floor in the temple laid marble tiles with images of the signs of the zodiac. It is believed that the sun beam falls on the picture, the patron of which in a certain period of the year is dominant. Based on the received messages, today there is some discrepancy with the real numbers, which is associated with subsidence of the base.
Entrance to the Milan Cathedral is paid, with a ticket with a lift on the elevator is almost twice as expensive. True, it is impossible to abandon the spectacle from the roof, because the real life of Milan with the bustling Italians and guests of the city opens from there. Do not forget that this is not just a landmark, but, above all, a religious place where women should be with closed shoulders and knees, T-shirts with necklines are also prohibited.