Daily Archives: January 24, 2015

Gothic Duomo Cathedral – Milan Cathedral

An exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world. The street plan of Milan, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, indicates that the Duomo occupied the most important site in the ancient Roman city of Mediolanum. Saint Ambrose built a new basilica on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. When fire damaged both buildings in 1075, they were rebuilt as the Duomo. In 1386 the archbishop, Antonio da Saluzzo, began the new project in a rayonnant Late Gothic style that is more characteristic of France than Italy. Work proceeded for generations. The main spire was topped in 1762 with a polychrome statue of the Madonna, to whom the Duomo and its predecessor have always been dedicated. Even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be turned into sculpture. Gothic construction on the rest of the Duomo was largely complete in the 1880s.

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Castello Sforzesco – The Milan’s Sforza Castle

The imposing town castle is located in the extension from the Milan’s cathedral – Via Dante – Largo Cairoli – Piazza Castello. Milan’s castle was designed by Galeazzo II Visconti in 14th Century during the Renaissance period and it was built as a defensive castle. Throughout its history, the castle was destroyed and built up again modified. The castle houses the Museums of the Castello with rarities such as the last masterpiece of Michelangelo, the unfinished Pietà Rondanini and the frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante. Particularly impressive is the tower with the entrance Torre del Filarete, named after the Florentine architect and sculptor Antonio Averlino (called Filarete). Leonardo da Vinci worked from 1482 – 1499 and from 1506 -1513 at Milan’s Castello Sforzesco under the Duke Ludovico Maria, nicknamed Ludovico il Moro and took care of the cultural life and the arts in the mansion. During this time, Leonardo also worked on the development and expansion of the system of canals – Navigli – and the construction of locks as well as the study of man.

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