Piazza Duomo Milano. The Milan Cathedral, Dòmm de Milan in Milanese dialect, is a cathedral, a symbol of the Lombard capital and one of the symbols of Italy, dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, located in the square of the same name, in the center of the metropolis. By surface it is the third catholic church in the world after St. Peter’s in the Vatican and the cathedral of Seville.
Piazza Duomo Milano – History
In the place where the Duomo stands once the ancient cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the basilica of Santa Tecla were found. After the collapse of the bell tower, the archbishop Antonio de ‘Saluzzi promoted the reconstruction of a new and larger cathedral on May 12, 1386. For the new building, both previous churches were demolished.
The new church originally had to provide a brick building according to the Lombard Gothic techniques. In January 1387 the foundations of the pylons were thrown. What was done before 1386 was all destroyed or almost.
During the year, the Lord Gian Galeazzo Visconti, took control of the work, imposing a more ambitious project. The material chosen for the new construction then became Candoglia marble. The architectural forms are those of the late Gothic with a Rhenish-Bohemian inspiration. The desire of Gian Galeazzo was in fact to give the city a grandiose building in step with the most up-to-date European trends. Gian Galeazzo made the quarries available and granted strong subsidies and tax exemptions.
Each block destined for the Duomo was marked AUF (Ad usum fabricae), and therefore free of any passing tribute. The factory then proceeded in a climate of tension, with numerous revisions, which nevertheless gave rise to a work of unmistakable originality, both in the Italian and European scene.
Initially the foundations had been prepared for a building with three naves, with square side chapels, whose dividing walls could also act as buttresses. It was then decided to do without the chapels, bringing the number of aisles to five. On July 19, 1391, the enlargement of the four central pillars was deliberated. On 1 May 1392, the shape of the progressively decreasing aisles was chosen for a maximum height of 76 braccia.
Piazza Duomo Milano – Internal Architecture
The interior has five naves, with a three-piece transept. The presbytery is deep and surrounded by an ambulatory, next to which the two sacristies open. The central nave is twice the width of the side aisles, which are slightly decreasing in height, so as to allow the opening of small arched windows, above the arches of the vaults, which illuminate the interior in a diffuse and tenuous way. The triforium is missing.
The fifty-two polystile pillars divide the naves. They support the gothic ribs at simulating ribs. This decoration was initiated by the apse (mid-fifteenth century), continued in the lantern (1501) and again in the seventeenth, until the additions and remakes of Achille Alberti and Alessandro Sanquirico (from 1823). Since 1964 it has not been reinstated.
Very original are the monumental capitals with niches and cusps with statues, which decorate the pillars along the central nave, the transept and the apse. Some capitals are in double register, with statues of saints in the niches surmounted by statues of prophets in the cusps. The other pillars have decorations with plant motifs.
The floor, based on an original design by Pellegrino Tibaldi, was started in 1584 and finished, with variations, only between 1914 and 1940. It is a complex interweaving of light and dark marbles, among which the black Varenna, the white and rose of Candoglia, the red of Arzo. Tibaldi also defined the side altars, the mausoleums, the choir and the presbytery, on the requests of Cardinal Borromeo. The interior today has an aspect that is especially affected by this era, linked to the period of the Counter-Reformation. In the eighteenth century, some monuments were transferred to the façade, recently completed.
Piazza Duomo Milano – Address
Piazza del Duomo – Milano
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