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Milan Duomo dimensions:
Length: 515 feet
Width at transept: 302 feet
Height of nave columns: 80 feet
Height of central octagon: 6215 feet
Height of spire: 350 feet
Capacity: 40,000 people.
throughout the European Middle Ages, the era of high Gothic missed
Italy almost completely. Only in Milan did the idea catch on in
favor of building tall and elaborately decorated in the great
French Gothic style.
In fact, it
was French engineer Nicolas de Bonaventure and architect
Jean Mignot who were first called in to approve designs for the new
Milan Duomo in the 14th century. They were also tasked to train local masons in the revolutionary architectural style that had swept through Europe at the time.
Elegant French Gothic mixed with a distinct Italian muscularity.
The cathedral (like many others before it)
was built in fits and starts as finances allowed with the final
details only officially completed in the 19th century.
Gargoyles peer down on visitors in the Piazza del Duomo.
through Milan at the time, American writer Mark Twain was duly
impressed and later wrote about his experience in Innocents Abroad: What
a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate,
so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it
seems ...a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!"
cathedral continues to astonish as the delicately carved Italian
marble is restored, recarved and refurbished thanks to a perpetual
gift from a local quarry.
and religious highlights feature masterpieces of sculpture from
the Middle Ages and Renaissance, including three awe-inspiring
altars by 16th century painter & architect Pellegrino Pellegrini;
the St. Bartholomew statue by Marco D'Agrate; and the magnificently
designed Trivulzio Candelabrum, located under the transept.
The Duomo roof tour includes of spires, pinnacles and statuary.
High above in the dome, a small red light marks the location where
a nail is inserted, believed to be from Christ's crucifixion.
For a complete
tour, head up to the roof where visitors almost universally experience
giddy elation at the height and sheer number of the many flying
buttresses, pinnacles and spires that fit together as tightly
as a jigsaw puzzle. Entry
fees, at last visit, included 7 euros to climb the stairs, 12 euros to ride the elevator.
Address: Piazza del Duomo
Hours: Roof daily 7AM -7PM
More about the Milan Duomo around the Web:
Milan Duomo - the official site
Duomo Virtual Tour