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The Milan Cathedral ( it, Duomo di Milano ; lmo, Domm de Milan ), or Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Nativity of Saint Mary ( it, Basilica cattedrale metropolitana di Santa Maria Nascente, links=no), is the
cathedral church A cathedral is a church (building), church that contains the ''cathedra'' () of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, Annual Conference, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually spec ...
of
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
,
Lombardy (man), (woman) lmo, lombard, links=no (man), (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
. Dedicated to the
Nativity of St Mary
Nativity of St Mary
(''Santa Maria Nascente''), it is the seat of the
Archbishop of Milan The Archdiocese of Milan ( it, Arcidiocesi di Milano; la, Archidioecesis Mediolanensis) is a Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt ...
, currently Archbishop
Mario Delpini (''The earth is full of His glory'') Mario Enrico Delpini (born 29 July 1951) is an Italians, Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He has been serving as the Archbishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan, Milan since his installation ...

Mario Delpini
. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete: construction began in 1386, and the final details were completed in 1965. It is the largest church in Italy—the larger
St. Peter's Basilica The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican ( it, Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply Saint Peter's Basilica ( la, Basilica Sancti Petri), is a Church (building), church built in the Renaissance architecture, Renaissanc ...

St. Peter's Basilica
is in the
State of Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vaticano ...
, a sovereign state—and the second largest in Europe and the third largest in the world.


History

Milan's layout, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, reveals that the Duomo occupies what was the most central site in Roman Mediolanum, that of the public
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building ...

basilica
facing the
forum Forum (plural forums or fora) may refer to: Common uses * Forum (legal), designated space for public expression in the United States *Forum (Roman), open public space within a Roman city **Roman Forum, most famous example *Internet forum, discus ...
. The first cathedral, the "new basilica" (') dedicated to
St Thecla
St Thecla
, was completed by 355. It seems to share, on a slightly smaller scale, the plan of the contemporaneous church recently rediscovered beneath
Tower Hill Tower Hill is infamous for the public execution of high status prisoners from the late 14th to the mid 18th century. The execution site on the higher ground north-west of the Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty' ...
in
London London is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerc ...

London
. An adjoining basilica was erected in 836. The old octagonal baptistery, the ''Battistero Paleocristiano'', dates to 335 and still can be visited under the Cathedral. When a fire damaged the cathedral and basilica in 1075, they were rebuilt as the Duomo.


Construction begins

In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da
Saluzzo Saluzzo (; pms, Salusse ; french: link=no, Saluces ; oc, link=no, Saluças ) is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, in the Piedmont region, Italy. The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated p ...
began construction of the cathedral. Start of the construction coincided with the ascension to power in Milan of the archbishop's cousin
Gian Galeazzo Visconti Gian Galeazzo Visconti (16 October 1351 – 3 September 1402), was the first Duchy of Milan, duke of Milan (1395) and ruled the late-medieval city just before the dawn of the Renaissance. He was the founding patron of the Certosa di Pavia, complet ...

Gian Galeazzo Visconti
, and was meant as a reward to the noble and working classes, who had suffered under his tyrannical Visconti predecessor Barnabò. Before actual work began, three main buildings were demolished: the palace of the Archbishop, the Ordinari Palace and the Baptistry of St. Stephen at the Spring, while the old church of Sta. Maria Maggiore was exploited as a stone quarry. Enthusiasm for the immense new building soon spread among the population, and the shrewd Gian Galeazzo, together with his cousin the archbishop, collected large donations for the work-in-progress. The construction program was strictly regulated under the "Fabbrica del Duomo", which had 300 employees led by first chief engineer Simone da Orsenigo. Orsenigo initially planned to build the cathedral from brick in Lombard Gothic style. Visconti had ambitions to follow the newest trends in European architecture. In 1389, a French chief engineer, Nicolas de Bonaventure, was appointed, adding to the church its Rayonnant Gothic. Galeazzo gave the Fabbrica del Duomo exclusive use of the marble from the Candoglia quarry and exempted it from taxes. Ten years later another French architect, Jean Mignot, was called from Paris to judge and improve upon the work done, as the masons needed new technical aid to lift stones to an unprecedented height. Mignot declared all the work done up till then as in ''pericolo di ruina'' ("peril of ruin"), as it had been done ''sine scienzia'' ("without science"). In the following years Mignot's forecasts proved untrue, but they spurred Galeazzo's engineers to improve their instruments and techniques. Work proceeded quickly, and at the death of Gian Galeazzo in 1402, almost half the cathedral was complete. Construction, however, stalled almost totally until 1480, for lack of money and ideas: the most notable works of this period were the tombs of Marco Carelli and
Pope Martin V Pope Martin V ( la, Martinus V; January/February 1369 – 20 February 1431), born Otto (or Oddone) Colonna, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 11 November 1417 to his death in 1431. His election effectively en ...

Pope Martin V
(1424) and the windows of the apse (1470s), of which those extant portray ''St. John the Evangelist'', by Cristoforo de' Mottis, and ''Saint Eligius'' and ''San John of Damascus'', both by Niccolò da Varallo. In 1452, under
Francesco Sforza Francesco I Sforza (; 23 July 1401 – 8 March 1466) was an Italian condottiero who founded the Sforza dynasty in the duchy of Milan, ruling as its (fourth) Duke of Milan, duke from 1450 until his death. He was the brother of Alessandro Sfo ...

Francesco Sforza
, the nave and the aisles were completed up to the sixth bay. In 1488, both
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
and
Donato Bramante Donato Bramante ( , , ; 1444 – 11 April 1514), born as Donato di Pascuccio d'Antonio and also known as Bramante Lazzari, was an Italian architect and painter. He introduced Renaissance architecture Renaissance architecture is the Eur ...

Donato Bramante
created models in a competition to design the central cupola; Leonardo later withdrew his submission. In 1500 to 1510, under
Ludovico Sforza Ludovico Maria Sforza (; 27 July 1452 – 27 May 1508), also known as Ludovico il Moro (; "the Moor"), was an Italian Renaissance nobleman who ruled as Duke of Milan from 1494-1499. His ascendancy followed the death of his nephew Gian Galeazzo Sf ...
, the octagonal cupola was completed, and decorated in the interior with four series of 15 statues each, portraying saints, prophets, sibyls and other Figures from the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
. The exterior long remained without any decoration, except for the ''Guglietto dell'Amadeo'' (" Amadeo's Little Spire"), constructed 1507–1510. This is a
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
masterwork which nevertheless harmonized well with the general Gothic appearance of the church. During the subsequent
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
domination, the new church proved usable, even though the interior remained largely unfinished, and some bays of the nave and the transepts were still missing. In 1552 Giacomo Antegnati was commissioned to build a large organ for the north side of the choir, and
Giuseppe Meda Giuseppe Meda, originally Giuseppe Lomazzo (c. 1534–1599) was an Italy, Italian painter, architect and hydraulics engineer. Born in Milan, he apprenticed as painter under Bernardino Campi. He also studied as architect and engineer, and planned a ...
provided four of the sixteen pales which were to decorate the altar area (the program was completed by
Federico BorromeoFederico (; ) is a given name and surname. It is a form of Frederick, most commonly found in Spanish and Italian. People with the given name Federico Artists * Federico Ágreda, Venezuelan composer and DJ. * Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, renowned ...
). In 1562, Marco d' Agrate's ''
St. Bartholomew Bartholomew (Aramaic: ; grc, Βαρθολομαῖος, translit=Bartholomaîos; la, Bartholomaeus; arm, Բարթողիմէոս; cop, ⲃⲁⲣⲑⲟⲗⲟⲙⲉⲟⲥ; he, בר-תולמי, translit=bar-Tôlmay; ar, بَرثُولَماوُ ...
'' and the famous
Trivulzio
Trivulzio
candelabrum (12th century) were added.


Borromeo

After the accession of
Carlo Borromeo Charles Borromeo ( it, Carlo Borromeo; la, Carolus Borromeus; 2 October 1538 – 3 November 1584) was the Archbishop of Milan The Archdiocese of Milan ( it, Arcidiocesi di Milano; la, Archidioecesis Mediolanensis) is a metropolitan see of the C ...

Carlo Borromeo
to the archbishop's throne, all lay monuments were removed from the Duomo. These included the tombs of
GiovanniGiovanni may refer to: * Giovanni (name), an Italian male given name and surname * Giovanni (meteorology), a Web interface for users to analyze NASA's gridded data * ''Don Giovanni'', a 1787 opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, based on the legend of D ...

Giovanni
, and
Filippo Maria Visconti Filippo Maria Visconti (3 September 1392 – 13 August 1447)
Filippo Maria Visconti
, Francesco I and his wife Bianca,
Galeazzo Maria
Galeazzo Maria
, which were brought to unknown destinations. However, Borromeo's main intervention was the appointment, in 1571, of Pellegrino Pellegrini as chief engineer— a contentious move, since to appoint Pellegrino, who was not a lay brother of the duomo, required a revision of the Fabbrica's statutes. Borromeo and Pellegrini strove for a new, Renaissance appearance for the cathedral, that would emphasise its Roman / Italian nature, and subdue the Gothic style, which was now seen as foreign. As the façade still was largely incomplete, Pellegrini designed a "Roman" style one, with columns, obelisks and a large tympanum. When Pellegrini's design was revealed, a competition for the design of the façade was announced, and this elicited nearly a dozen entries, including one by Antonio Barca This design was never carried out, but the interior decoration continued: in 1575-1585 the presbytery was rebuilt, while new altars and the baptistry were added. The wooden choir stalls were constructed by 1614 for the main altar by Francesco Brambilla. In 1577 Borromeo finally consecrated the whole edifice as a new church, distinct from the old Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla (which had been unified in 1549 after heavy disputes).


17th century

At the beginning of the 17th century
Federico BorromeoFederico (; ) is a given name and surname. It is a form of Frederick, most commonly found in Spanish and Italian. People with the given name Federico Artists * Federico Ágreda, Venezuelan composer and DJ. * Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, renowned ...
had the foundations of the new façade laid by
Francesco Maria Richini Francesco Maria Richini (also spelled Ricchini) (9 February 1584 – 24 April 1658) was an Italian Baroque 260px, The Church of Sant'Andrea al Quirinale, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Italian Baroque (or ''Barocco'') is a stylistic period in ...
and
Fabio MangoneImage:1679 - Milano - Fabio Mangone, Facciata S. Maria Podone (dopo 1686) - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto - 18-May-2007.jpg, 270px, Fabio Mangone, Facade of the church of Santa Maria Podone in Milan. Fabio Mangone (1587–1629) was an Italy, Italian archi ...
. Work continued until 1638 with the construction of five portals and two middle windows. In 1649, however, the new chief architect Carlo Buzzi introduced a striking revolution: the façade was to revert to original Gothic style, including the already finished details within big Gothic pilasters and two giant belfries. Other designs were provided by, among others,
Filippo Juvarra Filippo Juvarra (7 March, 1678 – 31 January 1736) was an Italian architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the desi ...

Filippo Juvarra
(1733) and
Luigi Vanvitelli Luigi Vanvitelli (; 12 May 1700 – 1 March 1773), known in Dutch as (), was an Italian engineer and architect. The most prominent 18th-century architect of Italy, he practised a sober classicising academic Late Baroque style that made an ea ...

Luigi Vanvitelli
(1745), but all remained unapplied. In 1682 the façade of Santa Maria Maggiore was demolished and the cathedral's roof covering completed. In 1762 one of the main features of the cathedral, the Madonnina's spire, was erected at the dizzying height of 108.5 m. The spire was designed by Carlo Pellicani and sports at the top a famous polychrome Madonnina statue, designed by Giuseppe Perego that befits the original stature of the cathedral. Given Milan's notoriously damp and foggy climate, the Milanese consider it a fair-weather day when the Madonnina is visible from a distance, as it is so often covered by mist.


Completion

On 20 May 1805,
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, about to be crowned King of Italy, ordered the façade to be finished by Pellicani. In his enthusiasm, he assured that all expenses would fall to the French treasurer, who would reimburse the Fabbrica for the real estate it had to sell. Even though this reimbursement was never paid, it still meant that finally, within only seven years, the Cathedral's façade was completed. Pellicani largely followed Buzzi's project, adding some neo-Gothic details to the upper windows. As a form of thanksgiving, a statue of
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
was placed at the top of one of the spires. Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at the Duomo. In the following years, most of the missing arches and spires were constructed. The statues on the southern wall were also finished, while in 1829–1858, new stained glass windows replaced the old ones, though with less aesthetically significant results. The last details of the cathedral were finished only in the 20th century: the last gate was inaugurated on 6 January 1965. This date is considered the very end of a process which had proceeded for generations, although even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be completed as statues. The Allied
bombing of Milan in World War II As the main economic and industrial center in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian P ...
further delayed construction. Like many other cathedrals in cities bombed by the Allied forces, the Duomo suffered some damage, although to a lesser degree compared to other major buildings in the vicinity such as the
La Scala Theatre
La Scala Theatre
. It was quickly repaired and became a plaza of solace and gathering for displaced local residents. The Duomo's main façade went under renovation from 2003 to early 2009: as of February 2009, it has been completely uncovered, showing again the colours of the Candoglia marble. In November 2012 officials announced a campaign to raise funds for the cathedral's preservation by asking patrons to adopt the building's spires. The effects of pollution on the 14th-century building entail regular maintenance, and recent austerity cuts to Italy's culture budget has left less money for upkeep of cultural institutions, including the cathedral. To help make up funds, Duomo management launched a campaign offering its 135 spires up for "adoption." Donors who contribute
The euro sign () is the currency sign A currency symbol or currency sign is a graphic symbol used as a shorthand for a currency's name, especially in reference to amounts of money. Usage When writing currency amounts, the location of the sym ...
100,000 (about $110,505) or more will have a plaque with their name engraved on it placed on the spire.


Architects and engineers

* 1387 Simone da Orsenigo * 1387 Zeno da Campione * 1387 Marco da Campione detto da Frixono * 1389 Giacomo da Campione * 1389 Nicola Bonaventura o da Benaventis di Francia * 1389 Stefanino o Tavannino di Castelseprio * 1391 Giovanni Fernach di Frimburgo * 1391 Giovannino de Grassi * 1391 Lorenzo degli Spazii da Campione o di Laino * 1391 Marco da Carona * 1391 Enrico di Gamodia (Gmüden) * 1394 Beltramo da Conigo * 1394 Ulrico Füssingen di Ulma * 1398 Salomone de Grassi * 1399 Antonio o Antonino da Paderno * 1399 Gasparino da Carona * 1399 Giacomolo da Venezia di Parigi * 1399 Giovanni Mignoto * 1399 Giovanni Cona o Cova di Bruges * 1399 Arasmino de Sirtori * 1400 Filippo degli Organi * 1401 Polino da Orsenigo * 1404 Antonio da Paderno * 1406 Cristoforo de Chiona * 1407 Leonardo da Sirtori * 1409 Giovanni Magatto * 1415 Antonio da Muggiò * 1416 Bartolomeo di Modena * 1420 Antonio da Gorgonzola * 1430 Franceschino da Cannobio * 1451 Giorgio degli Organi da Modena * 1451 Giovanni Solari * 1452 Antonio da Firenze detto il Filarete * 1458 Donato de Sirtori * 1459 Boniforte o Guinforte Solari * 1476 Pietro Antonio Solari * 1483 Giovanni Nexemperger di Graz * 1486 Giovanni Antonio Amadeo * 1490 Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono * 1506 Cristoforo Solari detto il Gobbo * 1512 Gerolamo della Porta * 1519 Bernardo Zenale di Treviglio * 1524 Giangiacomo della Porta * 1526 Cristoforo Lombardo * 1539 Baldassarre Vianelli * 1547 Vincenzo da Seregno o Seregni * 1567 Pellegrino Pellegrini, called ''il Tibaldi'' * 1587 Martino Bassi * 1591 Lelio Buzzi * 1598 Aurelio Trezzi * 1609 Alessandro Bisnato * 1617
Fabio MangoneImage:1679 - Milano - Fabio Mangone, Facciata S. Maria Podone (dopo 1686) - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto - 18-May-2007.jpg, 270px, Fabio Mangone, Facade of the church of Santa Maria Podone in Milan. Fabio Mangone (1587–1629) was an Italy, Italian archi ...
* 1617 Giovanni Paolo Bisnato * 1631 Francesco Maria Ricchino * 1638 Carlo Buzzio o Buzzi * 1658 Girolamo Quadrio * 1679 Andrea Biffi * 1686 Giambattista Quadrio * 1723 Antonio Quadrio * 1743 Bartolomeo Bolla o Bolli * 1760 Francesco Croce * 1773 Giulio Galliori * 1795 Felice Soave * 1801 Giovanni Antonio Antolini * 1803 Leopoldo Pollak * 1806 Giuseppe Zanoja * 1806 Giuseppe Pollak * 1806 Carlo Amati * 1813 Pietro Pestagalli * 1854-1860 Office vacant * 1861 Giuseppe Vandoni * 1877 Paolo Cesa-Bianchi * 1904 Gaetano Moretti * 1907
Luca Beltrami Luca Beltrami (November 13, 1854 – August 8, 1933) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian langu ...

Luca Beltrami
* 1912 Adolfo Zacchi * 1963 Antonio Cassi Ramelli * 1964 Carlo Ferrari da Passano * 1988 Benigno Mörlin Visconti Castiglione


Architecture and art

The plan consists of a
nave The nave () is the central part of a church architecture, church, stretching from the (normally western) main entrance or rear wall, to the transepts, or in a church without transepts, to the chancel. When a church contains Aisle#Church archit ...

nave
with four side-aisles, crossed by a
transept A transept (with two semitransepts) is a transverse part of any building, which lies across the main body of the edifice."Transept", ProbertEncyclopaedia.comPE-tran In churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave The nave () ...

transept
and then followed by
choir A choir (; also known as a chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. Choirs may perform music from the classical music repertoire, which spans ...
and
apse In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Archi ...

apse
. The height of the nave is about , the highest Gothic vaults of a complete church (less than the of
Beauvais Cathedral Beauvais Cathedral or at greater length the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Beauvais (french: Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established ...

Beauvais Cathedral
, which was never completed). The roof is open to tourists (for a fee), which allows many a close-up view of some spectacular sculpture that would otherwise be unappreciated. The roof of the cathedral is renowned for the forest of openwork
pinnacle 260px, Pinnacles, studded with crockets, on King's College Chapel, Cambridge. A pinnacle is an architecture, architectural ornament originally forming the cap or crown of a buttress or small turret, but afterwards used on parapets at the corners ...

pinnacle
s and
spire A spire is a tall, slender, pointed structure on top of a roof or tower, especially at the summit of church steeple In architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (ad ...

spire
s, set upon delicate
flying buttresses roof, flying buttresses support the main Vault (architecture), vault of St. Mary's Church, Lübeck, St. Mary's Church, in Lübeck, Germany. The flying buttress (''arc-boutant'', arch buttress) is a specific form of buttress composed of an arch that ...
. The cathedral's five broad naves, divided by 40 pillars, are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the façade. Even the transepts have aisles. The nave columns are high, and the apsidal windows are . The huge building is of brick construction, faced with marble from the quarries which
Gian Galeazzo Visconti Gian Galeazzo Visconti (16 October 1351 – 3 September 1402), was the first Duchy of Milan, duke of Milan (1395) and ruled the late-medieval city just before the dawn of the Renaissance. He was the founding patron of the Certosa di Pavia, complet ...

Gian Galeazzo Visconti
donated in perpetuity to the cathedral chapter. Its maintenance and repairs are very complicated. In 2015, Milan's cathedral developed a new lighting system based on LED lights.


Aesthetic judgements

The cathedral was built over several hundred years in a number of contrasting styles. Reactions to it have ranged from admiration to disfavour. The Guida d’Italia: Milano 1998 (Touring Club Editore, p. 154) points out that the early Romantics tended to praise it in "the first intense enthusiasms for Gothic." As the Gothic Revival brought in a purer taste, condemnation was often equally intense.
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphys ...

John Ruskin
commented acidly that the cathedral steals "from every style in the world: and every style spoiled. The cathedral is a mixture of
Perpendicular In elementary geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relativ ...
with
Flamboyant Great West Window, York Minster (1338) Flamboyant (from ) is a form of late Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style that was particularly popular in Europe from the late 12th centur ...

Flamboyant
, the latter being peculiarly barbarous and angular, owing to its being engrafted, not on a pure, but a very early penetrative Gothic … The rest of the architecture among which this curious Flamboyant is set is a Perpendicular with horizontal bars across: and with the most detestable crocketing, utterly vile. Not a ray of invention in a single form… Finally the statues all over are of the worst possible common stonemasons’ yard species, and look pinned on for show. The only redeeming character about the whole being the frequent use of the sharp gable ... which gives lightness, and the crowding of the spiry pinnacles into the sky." (Notebooks .6L. The plastered ceiling painted to imitate elaborate tracery carved in stone particularly aroused his contempt as a "gross degradation". While appreciating the force of Ruskin's criticisms,
Henry James Henry James ( – ) was an American-British author. He is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism Literary realism is a literary genre A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determine ...

Henry James
was more appreciative: "A structure not supremely interesting, not logical, not … commandingly beautiful, but grandly curious and superbly rich. … If it had no other distinction it would still have that of impressive, immeasurable achievement … a supreme embodiment of vigorous effort."


Main monuments and sights

The interior of the cathedral includes numerous monuments and artworks. These include: *At the left of the altar is located the most famous statue of all the Cathedral, the Saint Bartholomew Flayed (1562), by Marco d'Agrate, the saint shows his flayed skin thrown over his shoulders like a stole. *The Archbishop Alberto da Intimiano's sarcophagus, which is overlooked by a Crucifix in copper laminae (a replica). *The sarcophagi of the archbishops
Ottone Visconti Ottone Visconti (1207 8 August 1295) was Archbishop of Milan The Archdiocese of Milan ( it, Arcidiocesi di Milano; la, Archidioecesis Mediolanensis) is a metropolitan see of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as ...

Ottone Visconti
and Giovanni Visconti, created by a
Campionese
Campionese
master in the 14th century. *The sarcophagus of Marco Carelli, who donated 35,000 ducati to accelerate the construction of the cathedral. *The three magnificent altars by Pellegrino Pellegrini, which include the notable
Federico Zuccari Federico Zuccaro, also known as Federico Zuccari (c. 1540/1541August 6, 1609), was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italia ...
's ''Visit of St. Peter to St. Agatha jailed''. *In the right transept, the monument to Gian Giacomo Medici di Marignano, called "Medeghino", by Leone Leoni, and the adjacent Renaissance marble altar, decorated with gilt bronze statues. *The presbytery is a late Renaissance masterpiece composing a choir, a Temple by Pellegrini, two pulpits with giant atlantes covered in copper and bronze, and two large organs. Around the choir the two sacristies' portals, some frescoes and a fifteenth-century statue of Martin V by Jacopino da Tradate can be seen. *The transepts house the Trivulzio Candelabrum, which is in two pieces. The base (attributed to Nicolas of Verdun, 12th no century), characterized by a fantastic ensemble of vines, vegetables and imaginary animals; and the stem, of the mid-16th century. *In the left aisle, the Arcimboldi monument by Alessi and Romanesque figures depicting the ''Apostles'' in red marble and the neo-Classic baptistry by Pellegrini. *A small red light bulb in the dome above the
apse In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Archi ...

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marks the spot where one of the nails reputedly from the
Crucifixion Crucifixion is a method of capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the ...

Crucifixion
of Christ has been placed. The Holy Nail is retrieved and exposed to the public every year, during a celebration known as the Rite of the Nivola. *In November–December, in the days surrounding the birthdate of Saint Charles Borromeo, a series of large canvases, the '' Quadroni'' are exhibited along the nave. *Since September 2005, in the cathedral's crypt, beside the relics of Saint Charles Borromeo, there has been a video installation by English artist
Mark Wallinger Mark Wallinger (born 1959) is a British artist, best known for his sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving ...
. Entitled ''Via Dolorosa'', it consists of an 18-minute film reproducing scenes of the Passion excerpted from the film
Jesus of Nazareth Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...
by
Franco Zeffirelli Gian Franco Corsi Zeffirelli (12 February 1923 – 15 June 2019), commonly known as Franco Zeffirelli (), was an Italian director and producer of operas Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of per ...
. *In November 2014 a white marble sculpture by
Tony Cragg
Tony Cragg
inspired to the Madonna statue on the rooftop was installed. *The 5-manual, 225-rank pipe-organ, built jointly by the Tamburini and Mascioni Italian organbuilding firms on Mussolini's command, is currently the largest organ in all of Italy. The American writer and journalist
Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or ...

Mark Twain
visited Milan in the summer of 1867. He dedicated chapter 18 of '' Innocents Abroad'' to Milan Cathedral, including many physical and historical details, and a visit to the roof. He describes the Duomo as follows:
Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 185430 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in London in the early 1890s. He is ...

Oscar Wilde
visited Milan in June 1875. In a letter to his mother he wrote: "The Cathedral is an awful failure. Outside the design is monstrous and inartistic. The over-elaborated details stuck high up where no one can see them; everything is vile in it; it is, however, imposing and gigantic as a failure, through its great size and elaborate execution." In '' Italian Hours'',
Henry James Henry James ( – ) was an American-British author. He is regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism Literary realism is a literary genre A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determine ...

Henry James
describes:
a certain exhibition that I privately enjoyed of the relics of St. Charles Borromeus. This holy man lies at his eternal rest in a small but gorgeous sepulchral chapel … and for the modest sum of five francs you may have his shrivelled mortality unveiled and gaze at it with whatever reserves occur to you. The Catholic Church never renounces a chance of the sublime for fear of a chance of the ridiculous--especially when the chance of the sublime may be the very excellent chance of five francs. The performance in question, of which the good San Carlo paid in the first instance the cost, was impressive certainly, but as a monstrous matter or a grim comedy may still be. The little sacristan, having secured his audience, … lighted a couple of extra candles and proceeded to remove from above the altar, by means of a crank, a sort of sliding shutter, just as you may see a shop-boy do of a morning at his master's window. In this case too a large sheet of plate-glass was uncovered, and to form an idea of the étalage you must imagine that a jeweller, for reasons of his own, has struck an unnatural partnership with an undertaker. The black mummified corpse of the saint is stretched out in a glass coffin, clad in his mouldering canonicals, mitred, crosiered and gloved, glittering with votive jewels. It is an extraordinary mixture of death and life; the desiccated clay, the ashen rags, the hideous little black mask and skull, and the living, glowing, twinkling splendour of diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. The collection is really fine, and many great historic names are attached to the different offerings. Whatever may be the better opinion as to the future of the Church, I can't help thinking she will make a figure in the world so long as she retains this great fund of precious "properties," this prodigious capital decoratively invested and scintillating throughout Christendom at effectively-scattered points.


See also

*
Italian Gothic architecture Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style that was particularly popular in Europe from the late 12th century to the 16th century, during the High Middle Ages, High and Late Middle Ages, surv ...
*
List of highest church naves The nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church, in Romanesque architecture, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Gothic Christianity, Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture. "Nave" (Latin, Medie ...
*
List of largest church buildings in the world A church can be measured by various criteria in order to determine its size. Such measures include area, volume, length, width, height, or capacity. Several churches individually claim to be "the largest church", which may be due to any one of ...
*
Early Christian churches in Milan Early Christian churches in Milan are the first church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious ac ...
* List of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe *
History of medieval Arabic and Western European domes The early domes of the Middle Ages, particularly in those areas recently under Byzantine Empire, Byzantine control, were an extension of earlier Roman architecture. The domed church architecture of Italy from the sixth to the eighth centuries follo ...
* History of Italian Renaissance domes *
History of early modern period domes Domes built in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries relied primarily on empirical techniques and oral traditions rather than the architectural treatises of the time, but the study of dome structures changed radically due to developments in mathematics ...
* Anor Londo (Dark Souls)


References


External links


Official website



Duomo in Google Maps





Corpus of architectural drawings of the Cathedral of Milan
research project by the
Polytechnic University of Milan The Polytechnic University of Milan () is the largest technical university in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, ...
{{Authority control Gothic architecture
Duomo ''Duomo'' (, ) is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional ...
Roman Catholic cathedrals in Italy, Milan Gothic architecture in Milan, Milano Buildings containing meridian lines Cathedrals in Lombardy Tourist attractions in Milan Burial sites of the House of Visconti