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Italy, Milan – Duomo

Published: 18.7.2018
Milan is a city of religious history, as evidenced by the number of saints who have been here during their lives. But its greatest pride is undoubtedly the city center with the cathedral. Il Duomo di Milano can be found on all the pictures of the city, so when you visit Milan you shloud not miss this architectural gem. In the following lines we will go through not only her interior, but we will also visit the roof.

Day-and-night, Piazza del Duomo is always busy. Here it is crowded with street vendors and pigeons. It is the center of Milan. If you accidentally push your hand and somebody puts your corn in your hand, pigeons gather around you. This way you can pass through the square, around the equestrian statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II in the middle of the square to the entrance to the fifth largest cathedral of the world - the Duomo di Milano.

Duomo di Milano

The temple dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary is the seat of the Archbishop. Originally at this place called the Mediolanum, a basilica, which together with the adjacent basilica (836) were destroyed by fire (1075), stood there at the beginning of the 5th century. The construction of the new dome began in 1386 and the Gothic cathedral was built for nearly 600 years. In 1805 on Napoleon's order the unfinished construction was nearly finished. Napoleon was crowned here the king of Italy. Construction works continued well into the 20th century and in 1965 the last gate of the cathedral was inaugurated. The temple of bricks and pink marble from the quarries in Candoglium is 157 m long, 92 m wide and can contain up to 40,000 people.

Duomo di Milano – rooftop view

If you want to visit the Dome, think about it in the morning when you dress up, so the police officer does not return you from the entrance, which is commonplace here. You will not get inside, as in other temples in Italy until you have tossed bare feet and shoulders. So putting a delicate scarf in a bag will pay off in this case. And this also applies to gentlemen, the trousers must reach below the knees. Only then will you leave between the 50 pillars of the five-nave cathedral with the largest collection of marble sculptures. In the interior are the coats of the Visconti family, gravestones, statues, etc. In the crypt there is a jewelry with gold, silver and art pieces of early Christianity and Romanesque period. There is buried the reformer Carlo Borromeo.

Below there is the baptistery - Battistero Paleocristiano, the ruins of an early Christian octagonal baptistery of the 4th century. Here St. Ambrož baptized St. Augustina. This part, where are also the remains of the temple of St. Tekes, you have to pay the entrance fee. Tickets can be purchased for different types of tours.

Duomo di Milano – interiér

When looking at the main altar, pay attention to the small red bulb in the dome above the apse. It indicates where one of the nails is from the crucifixion of Christ. Exposed to the public is, during the Nivola celebration, part of the Ambrosiano ceremony. The tradition of celebrations dates back to the 16th century and Nivola (Nuvola in Milan) which translates as a cloud. An elevator in the form of a 3-meter-long, cloudy-shaped basket is used in the ceremony for prirests to reach the nail, which is placed in the cross and carried down. Today, it is a mechanized way, but in the 16th century, when Leonardo da Vinci's designs came into being, he was controlled by 20 men from the roof. The tradition was founded by St Carlo Borromeo on the day of the discovery of the Cross on May 3, but the date was changed to September 14th. In November and December, around the birthday of Carlo Borromeo, along the ship they exhibit a series of large canvases - Quadroni.

Piazza del Duomo

The organ is placed against the altar above the entrance. The instrument was built on Mussolini's order and it is one of the largest in Italy. In the front of the former mausoleum there is a statue of a man who has overturned his withdrawn skin. It is the most famous work of the cathedral - the statue of St. Bartholomew from Marc D'Agrate. He fully knows the human body, which is reflected in the sophisticated muscles, blood vessels and bones, thus giving us a morbid, naturalistic picture of the detail of the work of a 16th century sculptor.

Proti oltáři nad vstupem jsou situovány varhany, které byly postaveny na příkaz Mussoliniho a patří mezi největší v Itálii. V přední části bývalého mauzolea stojí socha muže, který má přes sebe přehozenou svou staženou kůži. Je to nejznámější dílo katedrály – socha sv. Bartoloměje od Marca D'Agrate. Dokonale znal lidské tělo, což se odráží v propracovaných svalech, cévách a kostech, a tak nám nabízí morbidní, naturalistický obraz detailní práce sochaře 16. století.

Duomo di Milano – rooftop vista

A unique experience is visiting the roof of the dome. You pay entrance fee, if you are not afraid of the stairs, it will cost you less than a lift. From the shadow of the narrow spiral staircase, you go to the promenade between the temple ribs decorated with Gothic architectural elements. You will find yourself in a tangle of Gothic purple and sculpture. A few steep marble steps to the top and an impressive view of Milan opens before you. Ideally, you can see the Alps. It's something wonderful. For a few days, it would not be enough to explore the details of this building, there are the reliefs of birds, animals, fruits or plants enthralled in a stone lace.

Duomo di Milano – vista on the roof

The best part of the entire building is the highest tower of the temple (108.5 m) dominated by the statue of the Madonna - Madonnina which is the symbol of the city. The tower was designed by Francesco Croce (1762) and the polychrome statue of Madonna was designed by Giuseppe Perego (1774). Traditionally, no building in Milan was higher than Madonnina. Good weather is considered to be when Madonnina could be seen from distance as usual she is veiled in fog.

When Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi built a 31-story (127.1 m) building, the Pirelli skyscraper (1956-1958, another symbol of the city), he placed a small replica of Madonnina. After 2010, the highest point was Palazzo Lombardia (161 m), and another replica of Madonna was set there to remain the highest point of the city. The song "O mia bela Madunina" by Giovanni d'Anzi about the gold statue of Madonna in the tower is considered an unofficial anthem of Milan. On the roof of the dome is also the scene from the film Rocco and his brothers (1960).

Duomo di Milano

The beauty of this cathedral was expressed by American writer Mark Twain who said, "It's a wonder. So grandiose, so festive, so enormous. And at the same time, so subtle, airy, graceful. It is the personification of weight and at the same time as a drawing that can cause you goosebumps. "He was right, but I still feel that no words can convey its spell, it can only be experienced And finally one advice for those who fear the heights. It pays off for a moment to overcome your fear.

 

GPS:  45°27'51.0"N 9°11'25.2"E

Text and photos: Mgr. Anna Nociarová

Edited by: Infoglobe



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