Milan, the most important metropolitan centre of fashion in Italy, is also surprisingly well-known for its historical sights. One of the biggest Gothic Cathedrals can be found here - Duomo di Milano, or the Milan Cathedral. Every foreigner traveling to Milan will undoubtedly stop by the Duomo first to allure this spectacular architectural work of art. Open everyday from 8 AM until 700 PM, the Duomo is open for all worshippers via the north door, and tourists via the south door. If you are just planning to visit the Duomo for sightseeing, come early to get a ticket from the closest office and stand in the queue.
About the Cathedral’s history
The history of the Duomo has always been linked to Saint Ambrose who built a new basilica on the site in the early 5th century. After being damaged by fire in 1075, the building was then rebuilt as the Duomo. It was only until 1386 that the archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began a new project to build the Duomo in a Gothic style. It took over 5 centuries for architects from all over Europe and thousands of workers to complete the construction of the Duomo from 1386 until the 19th century.
Visiting the Duomo nowadays
Prices to enter the Cathedral and the Duomo Museum is only 2 EUR (roughly 2.50 USD) per person. When you visit this fifth largest Christian church in the world, you will have the chance to see massive columns, impressive statues, and amazingly wide ranges of artwork attached to the walls. The cathedral is made of brick faced with marble from the quarries. There are over 3400 statues, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures of decoration in the cathedral.
One of the most important characteristics of this masterpiece is over a hundred of spires on top, each of which are mounted with a statue depicting important people in Milan’s history and characters in the Bible. The main spire is 109 meters (358 ft) high and was topped in 1762 with a polychrome statue of the Madonna. You can choose to walk or take the lift upstairs to witness these magnificent and spiritual spires.
Stop by at the Museo del Duomo
The Duomo Museum was introduced in 1953 and exhibits hundreds of statues, tapestries, overhangs, terracotta models, graphic materials, paintings, wooden models, and stained-glass windows. As soon as you enter the museum, you will see a mini model of the Duomo di Milano. The museum is also connected to the Church of San Gottardo which can be visited without any admission fee. It’s also possible to visit the Tesoro del Duomo, or Cathedral Treasury, with a more expensive package offered along with the entrance fee to the Duomo di Milano.
Get around Duomo Di Milano
Duomo di Milano stands on the most important square of the city, surrounded by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - a glamorous shopping gallery with the most famous brands in the world. The Milan Cathedral definitely has everything to offer as a landmark for architecture, art, and for museum lovers. Besides being an artistic historical monument, it is also a privileged place for prayers. Duomo di Milano is an exemplary symbol of religion in the city, as well as the Mother Church of the Diocese.
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