Milan 360°: Churches and Basilicas in the City Center
The world famous Duomo aside, Milan is full of ancient and important Churches and Basilicas. In the 4th Century the famous bishop Ambrogio, to whom the most ancient Basilica in Milan is dedicated, transformed the city in the heart of the Western Catholic Church. Since then, many religious buildings have been built in Milan …
Milan’s Cathedral, the Duomo, is the true heart of the city, along with its vast Square, Piazza del Duomo. However, Milan, that once was the “imperial center”, hosts many other churches and basilicas. Most of them are very close to the Duomo. We shot 360 Images of quite a lot of them, but our list is far from being complete. Please find below a selection of the religious buildings that you’ll find in our panoramic photos.
We thank the Milan Municipality, our official partner for many of such 360°Images, and each Church for the priceless support and kindness. They often granted us to shoot exclusive locations. We hope that these 360° Photographs will show you the beauty of such masterpieces and allow you to appreciate them in detail!
- It is easy to see the 360° Photographs, simply click on the image miniature (thumb).
The Duomo: the Heart and the Greatness of Milan
The Duomo is the one and only true symbol of the city. It is widely known as one of the most important monuments in Italy and it is the third largest catholic Church in the world. The Duomo foundations were built in 1387, over the remains of an old church. It took over 400 years to build the Cathedral, an amazingly complex and fascinating structure. The church is 108 mt tall and 158 mt long and it can boast some more impressive numbers: 52 internal columns, 136 steeples and 3400 statues! The construction and now the maintenance of this masterpiece have been in the hands of the “Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo Foundation” for the past 600 years. You’ll find more 360° Images shot by us and many useful information on its website Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo →.
The Basilica of St Ambrose: the favorite Church of the Milanese citizens
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, St Ambrose, is one of the most ancient churches in Milan and it is the second one in importance, right after the Duomo. It was first built at the end of the 4th Century under the will of Bishop Ambrogio; it was finished in the late 11th Century. After passing the Atrio of Ansperto you access the Basilica. Its three aisles are modestly decorated, but very well lit and the natural light enhances the magnificent architecture of the building. The Vuolvinio Altar is perhaps the richest piece of art in the Sant’Ambrogio Basilica; over it an impressive ciborium from the 9th Century can be found.
Santa Maria delle Grazie: the Church of the Milanese Renaissance
The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Holy Mary of Graces, and its famous Cenacolo, Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first monuments to join the UNESCO World Heritage list. Built under the will of the influential Sforza Dynasty in the heart of the 15th Century, it used to be part of a Dominican Monastery and was meant to be the final resting place for the family members. At the end of the century, to keep up with the new Renaissance wave, the cupola and the gallery were rebuilt from scratch by Bramante. The colorful frescoes on the ceiling and the walls set up a very pleasant contrast with the austerity of the galleries.
The San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore Church: a Milanese jewel
Located just a few steps from Santa Maria delle Grazie, the magnificent Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is considered Milan’s “Sistine Chapel” for its astounding frescoes. Built in 6th Century over the ruins of an ancient Paleochristian Basilica, it was part of an important nunnery that was closed during the Napoleon time. It now hosts the Archaeological Museum (see Milano 360 – Sezione Musei). The church is divided into two areas: the Aula dei Fedeli, Hall of Believers, and the Aula delle Monache, Hall of Nuns. The latter contains an amazing pipe organ from 1554, that used to be available exclusively to the nuns. All the walls and the Chapels are wonderfully decorated with frescoes by artists of the Leonardo’s School; many of them have been painted by a famous painter from Lombardy, Bernardino Luini. It is a true must-see.
Other Churches in the Milan City Center
The Milan city center if full of interesting churches and basilicas; these are just a few of them. Let’s start with a church connected to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (see Milano 360 – Sezione Musei): it’s the San Sepolcro Church, built in the late 16th Century under the will of St. Carlo Borromeo. It’s a very bright Baroque church, with two beautiful sculptures and a fascinating crypt that contains a Holy Sepulchre statue. The San Bernardino alle Ossa Church is way more macabre; one of its chapels contains an ossuary that hosts human bones since the 17th Century. Let’s move to the Sant’Eustorgio Basilica, that is a very interesting building for its several chapels and the paleochristian remains. Our journey ends with San Lorenzo Maggiore, the most ancient Basilica in Milan and perhaps the most popular one among the youngsters: its square, that contains several Roman columns, is a popular nighttime refuge for thousands of young boys and girls.
To see other 360° Images of Milan >>> MILAN 360°