A giant Cathedral, which is located in the heart of old Milan, is one of the most paradoxical constructions of the middle Ages. Its the least can be called Gothic. But despite this, the Milan Cathedral is a remarkable and, perhaps, the best example of Italian Gothic!
Milan Cathedral is often called the “eighth wonder of the world”, and for this there is reason. The Cathedral is the world’s largest structure made of marble. Its length is 158 m, width – 58 m, height of Central nave – 46,8 m. the Total area of the temple is 11.3 thousand sq. m. With its height in good weather one can see the peaks of the Alps.
In terms of the Duomo repeats the Gothic building in Germany. But the German plan is combined in it with the Lombard (North Italian) façade, which is a lots of marble. Despite the Gothic appearance and huge size, the Duomo is different from other Gothic cathedrals a certain earthiness that you can’t hide the many adorning its towers, turrets and spires.
Along with Cologne Cathedral and the Cathedral of St. Vitus Cathedral Milan Cathedral is one of the most famous “unfinished buildings” of Europe. The first stone in its Foundation was laid, probably in 1386 (this date is considered the most reliable, as the exact date is unknown), and the latter only in 1906. However, messagepanel ensemble to realize still failed.
As conceived by the first Builder of the Milan Cathedral, the architect Marco di Campione, the Cathedral was to be its and to be in the shape of a Latin cross. This scheme was later saved, but during the long years of construction in appearance of the Cathedral reflects all of the architectural styles which were popular in different times in Northern Italy. However, this does not prevent Milan Cathedral to remain remarkably solid piece.
Over five hundred and fifty years the Cathedral was built and decorated 180 architects, sculptors and artists, among whom were the greatest masters of Italy, including the famous architect Antonio Averlino, dubbed “filarete” – “imp of fame”. Construction of the Cathedral had “a hand” all the inhabitants of Milan. Tell that the specially selected girls in white robes, accompanied by flute-players and trumpeters, bypassed Milan and the surrounding villages to collect donations for the temple construction. Large sums of money donated to a noble Milanese family of Visconti. Urban artisans – bakers, shoemakers, dyers – went to work on the construction of the Cathedral in a kind of “schedule”, in strictly certain days. Even the Milan Board of pharmacists and physicians did not disdain to build the great temple.
Milan Cathedral was mainly built in the second half of the XV century. During the XVI century was built the dome, which was built by the architect Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, who died in 1522. Before fifty years he supervised the construction of Milan Cathedral. In 1560-ies architect and sculptor Pellegrino Tibaldi dei Pellegrini developed the project of the Western façade with five portals. This façade was completed only in the years 1801-1813 project Carlo Amati and Giuseppe Canola. Throughout the nineteenth century facades of the Cathedral were heavily filled with statues, reliefs, decorative details. Still unfinished, the Church in the late nineteenth century had already been repaired – no joke, five hundred years without repair… In the early twentieth century had been completed over the main gate of the Cathedral, and the building ended. However, the temple was severely damaged during air raids during the Second world war, and after 1945 it was restored. Now he was again towering over Milan in all its mighty glory.
From different points of view of the Milan Cathedral looks different. This is largely due to the extraordinary richness of the facades lush decor combined with the huge size of the temple. Milan Cathedral impresses with its incomparable decorative carved marble, and numerous delicate details, stained-glass Windows in Lancet openings of Windows. Outside and inside it is decorated with more than three and a half thousand marble sculptures, including the “Golden Madonna”, which crowns the Central portal of the Cathedral at height 108,5 m. This statue made in 1770-ies of the sculptor J. Perego, is the patroness of Milan and symbol of the city. Her image can be found almost everywhere in Milan. Among the other sculptures of Milan Cathedral looks very unusual statue of the Grand Duke of Kiev Vladimir Monomakh.
Inside the Cathedral is huge and solemn. Majestic vaults rest on mighty pillars, lost in a mysterious twilight, created numerous stained glass Windows. On holidays the Cathedral, filled with people, still does not look close – it seems that it is dimensionless. To Milan Cathedral, probably the most appropriate definition of “great”. However, he is great not only in size and appearance, but throughout its long history, and its role in the life of Milan in different periods, and his extraordinary generosity with an ornament, resembling a Museum of marble sculptures. No wonder that even in Italy, are extremely rich in monuments of culture and art of world significance, the Milan Cathedral is called the “eighth wonder of the world”.