/ / Milan Cathedral, (Duomo)

Milan Cathedral, (Duomo)

Duomo - Milan's Cathedral named after Santa Maria Nascente. This Gothic Church was built over almost six centuries, and today is the fifth largest Cathedral in the world and the largest in Italy. The Duomo is located on the place where once was the center of the Roman Mediolanum - this is confirmed by the fact that the modern city's streets either radiate from the Cathedral or surround it. Under the building of the Duomo you can see the early Christian baptistery, built in 335, the year is one of the oldest Christian baptisteries Europe.

The history of the construction of the Duomo

In 1386, the year the Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction of the Cathedral, which coincided with the coming to power in Milan of Gian Galeazzo Visconti. The first architect was appointed Simone da Orsenigo, who was planning to build a Cathedral in Lombard Gothic style. However, Visconti wanted to follow the fashion trends of European architecture, and therefore invited the French engineer Nicolas de Bonaventure, who added the style "radiant Gothic" - French style, not specific to Italy. He also decided that the brick structure should be panelled with marble. In 1402, the year of Gian Galeazzo died - by this time the Cathedral was only half completed, and construction was frozen almost to the end of the century.

In the early 16th century, during the reign of Ludovico Sforza, was completed the dome, and its interior was decorated with 15 statues depicting saints, preachers, prophets and other characters of the Bible. Exterior of the Cathedral has long remained without any decoration, with the exception of Goletto del Amadeo ("Little spire Amadeo") - Renaissance element, well in harmony with the Gothic appearance of the Church. Despite the fact that the Cathedral was not completed, it was actively used during the Spanish rule in Milan. In 1552, the year Giacomo Antegnati was commissioned to build a large organ for the Church choir, and Giuseppe MEDA worked on the decoration of the Cathedral's altar. A little later there appeared the famous Trivulzio candelabrum of the 12th century.

After became Archbishop of Milan Carlo Borromeo, Duomo have been removed all the secular elements, including the tomb of Giovanni Barnabo and Filippo Maria Visconti, Francesco I and his wife, Ludovico Sforza, and other former rulers of the city. The chief architect was appointed Pellegrino Pellegrini, together with the Archbishop they wanted to give the Cathedral a Renaissance appearance, which was supposed to strengthen his Italian origin, and "suppress" Gothic architecture, which was seen then alien. As the façade of the Cathedral was still incomplete, Pellegrini designed it in a Romanesque style with columns, obelisks and a large tympanum. However, this project never materialized.

At the end of the 16th century, the Duomo was rebuilt the chancel and added a new altar and baptistry, and in 1614, the year Francesco Brambilla made for the throne, the wooden choir.

At the beginning of the 17th century was the Foundation of a new facade of the Duomo, the work continued until 1638, the year: was built the five portals and two Central Windows, and ten years later was made the revolutionary decision to return the Cathedral to its original Gothic appearance. In 1762, the year the Cathedral of Milan has acquired one of its most distinguished parts, the spire of the Madonnina, which is lifting up to dizzying height of 108.5 metres. It is interesting that today the inhabitants of the city by the spire control the weather - if it can be clearly seen from a distance, so the weather is good (given the moist climate of Milan, the spire is normally hidden in the fog).

Only early 19th century façade of the Duomo was finally completed - this happened thanks to Napoleon, who was to be crowned in the Cathedral as king of Italy. Architect Carlo Pellicani Jr. added to the front of some neo-Gothic details and the statue of Napoleon on top of one of the spires. Were further completed the missing arches and spires, with statues on the South wall, and in the middle of the 19th century the old Windows were replaced with new. The finishing touches to the shape of the Duomo were added in the 20th century: 6 January 1965, the year was opened the last gate - this date is considered the official date of the completion of the Cathedral.


  • Location: Piazza del Duomo, Milano
  • Nearest metro station: "Duomo".
  • Official website: http://www.duomomilano.it/en/
  • Hours of work: roof - daily 7.00-19.00; the crypt - daily 9.00-12.30 and 14.30-18.00; baptistry - daily 10.00-12.30 and 15.00-17.00 (closed Monday); Museum daily 9.30-12.30 and 15.00-18.00 (closed Monday); the Cathedral is open daily 9.00-12.00 and 14.30-18.00.
  • Tickets: the top - 5 Euro, a visit to the tomb of 1.55 Euro baptistery - 1.55 euros, the Museum is 3 euros, in the Cathedral admission is free.