Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Duomo di Milano

The Duomo di Milano is an elaborate Gothic cathedral located in the heart of Milan's city center. The second largest Roman Catholic cathedral in the world, the duomo as we see it today was begun in 1075 when a fire damaged the existing basilica, and in 1386 the archbishop, Antonio da Saluzzo, began transforming the duomo into the late Gothic style, a project that would proceed for generations. Today, nearly five centuries later solid blocks of marble still remain awaiting a sculptors touch. White marble, brought by waterways along the "Navigli" canals from a quarry at Condoglia di Mergozzo near Verbania was used according to the specific desire of Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti to cover the façade. The slabs of pinkish-white marble were marked A.U.F. (ad usum fabricate) and exempted from payment of customs duty. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1418 but not completed until the 19th century when Napoleon spurred on work to finally complete the façade.The building has undergone two major periods of renovation work: the first in 1935 and the second, obviously much more complicated, to repair bomb damage in 1943. For one of the most breathtaking churches in Europe, the awe-inspiring Duomo di Milano is a must see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I honestly have to say this picture too my breath away when I looked at the larger view and saw the details. It is difficult to fathom the time and effort this detail took.