Milan Cathedral -Table of Contents ........................... Architecture Around the World
Exterior - Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano)
Duomo is the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world: only
Seville Cathedral is larger (and St. Peter's Basilica doesn't count
because it's not a cathedral). Milan Cathedral is 157 meters long and
40,000 people can fit comfortably within.
The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. Groundbreaking: 1386. Completed: 1965.
The huge building is made of brick faced with Candoglia marble.
- Sacred Destinations: Milan Cathedral (online April 2016)
when Europe was fragmented into countess tiny kingdoms and dukedoms,
the Dukes of Milan wanted to impress their counterparts in Germany and
France. Their goal was to earn Milan recognizion and respect from
both the Vatican and the kings and princes of northern Europe by
building a massive, richly ornamented cathedral.
Even after Renaissance-style domes had come into vogue elsewhere in Italy, conservative Milan stuck with the Gothic style. The Dukes thought northerners would relate better to Gothic, and they loaded the catedral with pointed arches and spires.
For good measure, the cathedral was built not from ordinary stone, but from marble, top to bottom. Pink Candoglia marble was rafted in from a quarry about 60 miles away, across Lake Miggiore and down a canal to a port at the cathedral. Construction lasted from 1386 to 1810, with final touches added as late as 1965.
- Rick Steves, "Milan and the Italian Lakes District"
February 2016 Photo
Model found in the Milan Cathedral Museum
|February 2016 Photos
Gothic style ... 1386 groundbreaking ... 5th-largest church in the world and the largest in Italy ...
On May 20, 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, about to be crowned King of Italy, ordered the façade to be finished by Pellicani. Within seven years, the Cathedral had its façade completed. As a form of thanksgiving, a statue of Napoleon was placed at the top of one of the spires. Napoleon was crowned King of Italy at the Duomo ...Details, top down, below:
Candoglia marble: Pink Candoglia marble was rafted in from a quarry about 60 miles away, across Lake Miggiore and down a canal to a port at the cathedral.
Pinnacles topped by statues
Tracery ... Finials
Top: Corbel table with carved faces
Bas-relief sculpture on paired doors
Crucifixion depicted in quatrefoil
Mary and Jesus
Marriage of Joseph and Mary
The Madonnina's spire was erected in 1762
"Madonnina" atop the main spire of the cathedral, a Baroque gilded bronze statue
Renovation work being done
Carved stone niche canopies
Note flying buttresses
Piazza del Duomo