Rotonda Della Besana Milano is a late Baroque complex in Milan consisting of the church of San Michele ai Nuovi Sepolcri. It stands in the middle of an area bounded by a long closed portico. The original complex was born as a sepulcher of the Ospedale Maggiore of Milan in 1675. It was completed between 1719 and 1731 with the erection of the church and the arcade arcade in exposed brick that surrounds it. It is estimated that over one hundred and fifty thousand people have been buried in the tomb in the course of its history.
Rotonda Della Besana Milan – History
Since its birth in 1456 the Ospedale Maggiore had a sepulchral area inside the Ca ‘Granda in via Festa del Perdono. At the end of the seventeenth century, however, the cemetery proved insufficient for the increased necessity and inadequate for the hygienic needs of a large hospital.
It was therefore decided to create new sepulchres in a more peripheral area that was identified in a land outside the city circle near the walls of Porta Tosa. Then called Porta Vittoria, located in the place of the current Piazza Cinque Giornate.
On 17 June 1675, following the design of Attilio Arrigone, the construction of the cemetery was started, called the new tombs in whose center there was a small oratory that served as a chapel. In order to reach the new cemetery, the Road of San Barnaba was traced which connected the new cemetery with the Ospedale Maggiore. To make it possible to transport the bodies from the hospital, a new bridge was built on the circle of ships, on the current Via Francesco Sforza. The Porta della Meraviglia on the back of Ca ‘Granda is still visible today.
Rotonda Della Besana Milano – The New Building
The construction of the new cemetery ended in 1697 and the first tumults took place in July of that same year. In the year 1700 it was decided to convert the oratory into a church. The construction began in 1719 with a project by the architect Francesco Croce. With the title of San Michele Arcangelo to the new tombs.
Raised the church, the water began to enter the sepulchres and a horrible smell to come from the same. To remedy the erection of the large arcade around the new church began. It was finished in 1731 with the generous financial help of the wealthy silk merchant Giambattista Annone. Then new graves were laid higher from the ground so that they were not invaded by the spring waters. The complex was then known as Foppone dell’Ospedale. From the Milanese word foppa signifying a pit, with which the many cemeteries of Milan were named.
The project was by architects Attilio Arrigoni and Francesco Croce, author of the arcade and the renovation of the church, with the contribution of the engineer Carlo Francesco Raffagno.
Today, the complex is used as a public green space and as an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions, projections and cultural events.
Rotonda Della Besana Milano – Address
Via San Barnaba – Milano
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