With more than two hundred churches in Milan, and the spectacular Duomo, it would be difficult to visit the city and get around to seeing them all, but with a little forward research you can choose the ones that it would be possible to visit and enjoy their splendour and their history, some date back towards the 4th century, so plenty of history to soak up. The architectural style of the Romanesque and Baroque buildings themselves are a testament to the inspired workmanship that has gone into their construction over the centuries.
Milan Cathedral – Duomo di Milano, is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. Started in the 1380’s, the Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete and is built of white marble over a brick core. During its construction there were various architects involved on the building’s design including Leonardo and Bramante. It is the largest church in Italy and the fifth largest in the world and the second largest Catholic church. The Building can hold 40,000 worshippers. The Exterior boasts 135 spires topped with statues of historical figures. The tallest spire, which stands at 109m holds aloft a Golden Madonna. There are a magnificent 3,400 statues adorning the Cathedral.
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is famous for Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper which is painted on the Refectory walls next door to the church. Santa Maria delle Grazie Church and Dominican convent is located in the heart of Milan and has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage sites list since 1980. The Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza ordered construction of the Dominican convent and church at the site of a prior chapel dedicated to the Marian devotion of St Mary of the Graces, the monastery was completed in 1469, the church in 1482. There has been several restoration works carried out on both the buildings and the mural, a major work having been carried out following extensive bombing in WWII.
Via Giuseppe Antonio Sassi, 3 20123 Milano
The Basilica of Saint Ambrose is one of the oldest and most important churches in Milan dating back to 379–386. The original church, named Basilica Martyrum, was consecrated by St Ambrose in the place where many martyrs had been buried, St Ambrose was himself buried here in 397. The building is a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture having been rebuilt in the 11th century and contains many important works of art, a 9th-century golden altar dated 835, a 4th-century marble sarcophagus from the original basilica, the crypt of St Ambrose where he lies in a glass coffin next to St. Gervasius and Protasius and a 12th century mosaic ceiling in the apse.
Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio Piazza Sant’Ambrogio 15
Mo-Sat 10-12 + 2:30-6pm, Sun 3-5pm;
The Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio dates to the 9th century and rebuilt in the 12th century with a facade in Romanesque Lombard style. It was believed to contain the relics of the Magi which are housed in the Chapel of the Magi. Also here is the magnificent Portinari Chapel which houses frescoes by Vincenzo Foppa.
Piazza Sant’Eustorgio, 3
Situated in the centre of Milan between the Palazzo Marino and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the full name is Santa Maria della Scala in San Fedele. When the church of Santa Maria della Scala was demolished to make way for the building of the La Scala Opera House the church items were transferred to the nearby church of San Fedele which was built in the 16th century by the order of St Charles Borromeo.
Piazza S. Fedele, 4, 20121 Milano
The Church San Marco was named after St Mark patron saint of Venice and was built in thanks to Venice for help in the war against Barbarossa in the 12th century. The structure was heavily modified in the Baroque style during the 17th century, when it became the largest church in the city after the Duomo di Milano. In early 1770, the young Mozart resided in the monastery of San Marco for three months.
Piazza San Marco, 2, 20121 Milan
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