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Simone da Orsenigo
Fabbrica del Duomo
Antonio da Saluzzo
Frederik I
Edict of Milan
Carlo Borromeo
Constantine I
Napoleon Bonaparte
Nicolas de Bonaventure
Milan Cathedral
Duomo di Milano

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Milan - Duomo di Milano

Milan - Duomo di Milano
Milan is the city capital of the Lombardy and the second most populous city in Italy after Rome. Known during Roman times as "Mediolanum" it was the place, where in 313 Constantine I and Licinius met and "signed" the "Edict of Milan", giving Christianity a legal status within the Roman empire.

At the end of the Roman empire Milan was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, looted by the Huns in 452, and taken by the Ostrogoths in 539. Only 30 years later is belonged to the Kingdom of the Lombards, until in 774 Charlemagne defeated the Langobards and added Milan to the Carolingian empire. During Barbarossa´s (Frederik I) "Italian Campaigns" Milan was taken and destroyed to a great extent.

Milan came back and flourished, when in 1386 Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction of the cathedral. The construction program was strictly regulated under the "Fabbrica del Duomo", which had 300 employees led by a chief engineer. The first of these chief engineers, Simone da Orsenigo, planned to build the cathedral from brick in Lombard Gothic style. Three years later French chief engineer Nicolas de Bonaventure decided that the brick structure should be panelled with marble.

Apse and transepts were completed in 1409, the crossing tower in 1500. When in 1572 the Duomo de Milano got finally consecrated by Archbishop Carlo Borromeo, the facade was not completed. There were different designs, but none was ever finished.

Work slowed down until until in 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte, about to be crowned King of Italy here, ordered the façade to be finished. It got completed in neo Gothic style in 1813.

With an interior area of 11700m² the "Duomo di Milano" is the world´s third largest church and one of the few (I know), where the roof is open to tourists. The day I was up the roof was icy - and so the tourists were only allowed to the galery to see the pinnacles, spires, sculptures and the delicate flying buttresses.


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