Duomo, Milan

During the weekend spent in Milan for the fashion week, I found little time to have a look inside Duomo, Milan Cathedral, the biggest church of Italy, after S. Peter in Rome. Probably it’s not the first thing to do in all that fashion hustle and bustle, but it was impossible for me not to stop by.

Actually Duomo is not a gothic cathedral. It was first began in 1386 (so properly it’s late gothic style) but it was completed only in the early XX century, that means that the cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete!! That’s way we can’t talk exactly about gothic style: Duomo is the result of different contrasting styles and workmanships hoarded within centuries.

The main style is a certain idea of gothic, the idea of gothic people had while centuries passed by, rather than gothic itself. So, although Duomo turns out to be a homogeneous structure where everything seems to fit and tie together, it’s actually a pastiche of different references.

The most strange thing one can see in Duomo is the zodical signs on the the brass line on the floor. Installed in 1786, it’s a sundial that functions with a ray of light entering from above the first window on the right.

The Holy Nail: a small red light bulb in the dome above the apse marks the spot where one of the nails reputedly from the Crucifixion of Christ has been placed.

St. Bartholomew statue by Marco D’Agrate who depicts St Bartholomew wearing his skin around his neck. You can also see his face and scalp behind his left arm.

crypt of S. Carlo Borromeo

Trivulzio Candelabrum, late 12th century

Aesthete. Art historian & blogger. Content creator and storyteller. Fond of real and virtual wunderkammer. Founder and main author of rocaille.it.

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