About the Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral / Duomo di Milano

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Nestled in the heart of Milan, the Duomo di Milano or Milan Cathedral is a majestic symbol of architectural magnificence and spiritual significance. Here’s a guide to the most striking highlights of the Milan Cathedral, ensuring you don’t miss its best-kept secrets.

  • The Grand Facade: Even before you enter, the cathedral’s exterior leaves a lasting impression. Adorned with more than 2,300 statues, the façade is an artwork in itself. The meticulously carved reliefs on its doors depict various biblical tales and episodes from the lives of saints. As you gaze upward, the stunning rose window, surrounded by apostles and prophets, captures the essence of divine beauty.
  • The Nave and Columns: Stepping inside, the vastness of the cathedral’s central nave, supported by 52 towering pillars, captivates visitors. This tall and expansive hall leads one’s eyes straight to the altar, illustrating a path of spiritual progression.
  • The Stained-Glass Windows: Arguably among the most beautiful in Christendom, the cathedral’s stained-glass windows, especially those of the apse, narrate Biblical stories in vibrant hues. Crafted between the 15th and 16th centuries, they shine a light on the artistry and craftsmanship of the era.
  • The Altar and The Apse: At the heart of the cathedral lies the altar, crowned by the magnificent golden statue of the Madonna, called “La Madonnina.” Surrounding it, the apse, adorned with intricate frescoes and sculptures, provides a serene ambiance for reflection and prayer.
  • The Rooftop Terraces: An absolute must-visit! The rooftop terraces offer a unique vantage point, allowing visitors to walk amidst the spires and statues. The panoramic view of Milan, juxtaposed with the close-up intricacy of the Gothic structures, is an unforgettable experience. On clear days, one can even glimpse the majestic Alps in the distance.
  • The Archaeological Area: Beneath the grandeur of the cathedral lies an archaeological treasure trove, showcasing remnants of the ancient baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti and the Church of Santa Tecla. It’s a journey back in time, witnessing the very foundations upon which the cathedral stands.
  • The Crypt and The Treasury: Housing the tombs of archbishops and saints, the crypt holds immense historical and spiritual significance. Adjacent to it, the treasury displays a collection of sacred artifacts, vestments, and tapestries, narrating tales of devotion and reverence.
  • “La Madonnina” Statue: Although part of the rooftop, this iconic golden statue of the Virgin Mary deserves special mention. Towering at 108.5 meters, it’s not only a religious symbol but also a beacon for all of Milan. A tradition states that no building in Milan should surpass the height of the Madonnina.

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