Duomo di Milano
P.za del Duomo, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Duomo di Milano?
The Duomo di Milano, also known as Milan Cathedral, is not just any church; it's an iconic symbol of the city, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that seems to touch the sky with its spindly spires. Its façade, adorned with countless sculptures, and the famed Madonnina, a golden statue of the Virgin Mary that crowns its highest spire, beckon to both the faithful and the curious. Radiating from the very heart of Milan, the piazza where the cathedral stands is as much a social hub as it is a religious one.
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History of Duomo di Milano
The story of the Duomo di Milano is a tapestry of ambition, art, and faith spanning over six centuries. The first stone was laid in 1386 under Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo, and it evolved over the years with contributions from numerous architects and artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante. The cathedral was officially completed in 1965, although it's often quipped that it is never truly finished, as restoration and maintenance are a constant endeavour for such a grand structure.
One of the lesser-known aspects of the cathedral's history is the Candoglia marble quarries, which provided the distinctive pink-hued marble for construction. The exclusive right to extract marble from these quarries for the Duomo was granted by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, ruler of Milan at the time of the cathedral's inception. This ensured a consistent look and feel for the expansive cathedral throughout its long period of construction.
Why is Duomo di Milano Important?
The Duomo di Milano is important not just for its religious significance, but also as a cultural and artistic beacon. From its intricate marble façades to the stained-glass windows casting kaleidoscopic light inside, this cathedral embodies the collective work of generations of artists and workers. It stands as a testament to the human spirit's capacity for creativity and dedication.
Furthermore, the cathedral is an important part of Milan's identity. It has been at the center of the city's social and cultural life for centuries, hosting major religious and civic events. It's a place where Milanese history has been made and witnessed, from the coronation of Napoleon as King of Italy to the countless daily interactions among locals and visitors alike.
Things to Do & See at Duomo di Milano
A visit here offers a multitude of experiences. You can explore the vast interior with its soaring nave, beautiful altars, and intricate sculptures. Be sure to pay attention to the stained glass, especially the series of windows behind the main altar, which recount biblical stories with extraordinary artistry and detail. These windows are especially beautiful on a sunny day when the sunlight streams through, bringing the images to vivid life.
If you're physically up for it, climbing up to the terraces is a must. The view from atop the cathedral is breathtaking, with Milan laid out before you and, on a clear day, the sweep of the Alps on the horizon. It's a physical climb, but there's also an elevator for those who prefer a less strenuous ascent. There's a quiet contemplative atmosphere up there, broken only by the click of cameras and the soft murmur of awed voices.
For those intrigued by the darker side of history, the cathedral holds the secrets of centuries within its crypts. The Duomo's treasury is also well worth a visit, housing an impressive collection of tapestries, vestments, and relics. Last but not least, the museum provides historic context and showcases the craft behind the Duomo's construction, offering even more insight into this unparalleled edifice.
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