The Duomo of Milan is one of the most imposing churches of christendom, surpassed only by the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, from the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York city, and the Cathedral of Seville.
The Cathedral covers an area of 11.700 square meters and a whole quarter; its tonnage is even more impressive considering that, between the mentioned churches, is the oldest.
Still today, in Milan, when you want to accuse of slow someone, you use the expression “you’re as slow as the factory of the Duomo”. The construction of the cathedral of Milan, and, in fact, it took about six centuries to be completed.
Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente and begun in 1386, by the will of the first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, it was built at the place of the ancient churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla, and is still today the largest church in Italy and the third largest church in the world.
Conceived as a structure in the gothic style, recorded changes made in other styles over the centuries and was hit by the proposed project totally opposite, which slowed further construction. Was Napoleon Bonaparte at the beginning of the Nineteenth century, to order that the Cathedral was finally completed, using the neo-gothic style.
The external architecture is a veritable jungle of spires, pinnacles, reliefs and statues, while the interior is characterized by a dizzying height, and from the wealth of works of art: in addition to the beautiful stained-glass windows, we find the Candelabro Trivulzio, the Monument to Gian Giacomo de ‘ Medici, the crypt that houses the remains of San Carlo Borromeo, statue of Saint Bartholomew flayed, the outstanding relic of the Sacred Nail, frescoes of the XV century, in addition to an exceptional overview of works ranging from the Fourteenth century to the present day.
They say there are more statues on the façade of the gothic in any other building in the world. You count the 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures that decorate the whole Cathedral. You can climb the stairs or take the elevator up to the roof to admire the architecture of the most famous building in the city. From the terrace you will contemplate the breathtaking view of Milan and, when the weather is clear, even the Alps, covered with snow. You can also watch the famous ” Madonnina “, the golden statue of Mary that stands on the highest spire of the cathedral
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