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Milan Cathedral Mailand

Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente

Milan Cathedral
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last update on Mar 6, 2023
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The altar is characterized by different architectural styles, which were mixed as a result of the long construction period
© Benedict Ammer The altar is characterized by different architectural styles, which were mixed as a result of the long construction period

The Milan Cathedral is the seat of the archdiocese of Milan and bears the Italian name “Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente” as Saint Mary is its patron. It is one of the most famous sights in Euorpe. Considering the surface it's built on, the Milan cathedral can easily be ranked third among the largest churches in the world. This doesn't come as a surprise with its 11,000m² (13,150 sq yd) of total surface.

One of the highlights of the cathedral is definitely the fact that one is permitted access to the rooftop. One can come up here using the lift or the stairs. From here one has a view covering entire Milan up to the Monterosa Massif and the Swiss Alps. On the roof of the cathedral, a golden Madonna statue is placed, which is called “Madonnina”. She is also mentioned in the unofficial anthem of Milan.

In the crypt of the cathedral, one can find the cathedral's treasure and relics, such as one of the nails Jesus was allegedly nailed on the cross with. It is safely stored above the main altar in a box.

Historical Information

The construction works for the cathedral began in 1386. It took some centuries, though, to finish the work on the cathedral. It is estimated that it was completed in the 90s of the 19th century as the façade had been finished by that time. The Milan Cathedral requires constant maintenance and restoration work. The cathedral's façade completely consists of bright marble. The construction works have literally lasted for ages because of numerous rearrangements and an endless restructuring process of the façade.

Due to the vast time period spanning several epochs of constructing the cathedral, one can nowadays see the mixture of various architectural styles as a consequence. While the foundation is kept in a Gothic style, the façade, on the other side, which had undergone a period of profound changes under the rule of Napoleon, remains to be rather baroque or neo-Gothic

Interesting facts

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How to get there

By public transport

You can get here easily by using the underground. Lines M1 and M3 will do perfectly if you get off at the station “Duomo”, which is placed on the square in front of the cathedral.

Alternatively, you can come here by tram as well, either taking line 15 and getting off at the station “Piazza Fontana” or using lines 2 and 14 leaving the tram at the station “Via Torino”. You have further possibilities to come here by using lines 16, 24, and 27 getting off at the station “Via Mazzini”.

By car

If you wish to come here by car, you need to know that you cannot drive directly to Milan Cathedral as it is located in the historic city of Milan and thus is a part of the protected area. It is instead recommended to leave your car in the car park near the “Piazza Fontana”, which is just a 400m (440 yd) walk away from the beautiful cathedral. 


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Duomo di Milano
Piazza del Duomo
+39 02 7202 2656
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