It’s hard to find the words to describe the feeling when you round a corner and first gaze upon Milan’s cathedral. The distinctive white marble material and Gothic architecture leave quite the impression, as does the building’s size.
There are only a handful of churches in the world bigger than Milan’s cathedral and as such, there is plenty to see.
A landmark of Milan for more than 600 years, Duomo de Milano has seen off countless religious and political change, albeit with several stages of improvement and renovation.
Construction began in 1386, using marble brought in from Lake Maggiore along specially-built canals. The building was consecrated in 1418 even though just the nave had been completed.
Architects, sculptors and artists traveled from across Europe to work on this ambitious project. Their influence can be seen in unique architectural details even though Gothic style dominates.
The last section was not inaugurated until January 1965, meaning the cathedral took about 579 years to complete. That being said, some planned sculptures were never completed and the cathedral is almost always under some kind of renovation or restoration, so its status of ‘finished’ is up for debate.
What is there to see at Milan Cathedral?
Visiting the Duomo is not as simple as just buying a ticket to enter the cathedral, as there are many things to see in and around the complex. In fact, visiting the cathedral’s rooftops for the wonderful view over Milan is just as popular as entering the church itself.
All in all, there are six main attractions: the Duomo itself, the cathedral rooftops, the archaeological area, the Crypt of Saint Charles,