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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, in northern Italy. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Archbishop Mario Delpini. The cathedral was built between 1954 and 1962 to a design by Italian architect Giovanni Muzio on a site previously occupied by an old basilica dedicated to Saint Eustorgius (Saint Orsola).

The church is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul who are its patrons along with Saint Ambrose. The site has long been associated with both saints, who are said to have established here the first Christian community outside Rome.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The current cathedral replaces an earlier 12th-century building, which was destroyed by a fire in 1823. The construction of the present huge church was ordered by Cardinal Carlo Maria Curci, who had recently been elevated to Archbishop of Milan by Pope Leo XII, and later completed under his successors. 

The cathedral is 53.6 metres in height, the interior length is 105.7 m and the width of the transept is 33.4 m. The nave is 15 m high and has a maximum width of 21.5 m, while each arm of the transept is 11 m wide and has a maximum depth of 25 m including its chapels. The cathedral has five naves; the nave was built in 1964, while the side aisles, transept and central dome were completed in 1962. The transept arms are 44 m wide and include chapels such as those dedicated to Saints Orsola, Elizabeth of Hungary and Francis of Paola.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The apse is 14 m from the ground (as compared with 13.9 m for Luciano Blusi’s San Giovanni Battista a Porta Romana) and has a deep conical ceiling covered with frescoes by Giorgio de Chirico designed to represent religion on earth: above, heaven; below, hell (with angels pointing upwards). In the sacristy of the cathedral is the tomb of Cardinal Domenico Grimani (1830–1908), an architect of note in Milan.

In addition to its status as a major church, with a prominent position on Piazza San Babila, the cathedral has had many important patrons and was used for public services until 1999.

The cathedral was built by architect Giovanni Muzio, who also designed the San Vittore al Corpo basilica in Milan and its crypt. The decision to rebuild the church rather than replace it with a new building dates back to 1908.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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On 9 May 1944, following the allied bombing of Milan, which had heavily damaged the Duomo, Cardinal Carlo Maria Curia called for a competition to decide what should be done with the remains of the 13th-century church. There were four entries: three proposed rebuilding it and one demolishing it completely. The proposal by Luigi Figini won first prize and was chosen as the design for reconstruction (with some modifications). Reconstruction began in 1949 and was completed in 1962.

The nave, which is parallel to the facade, is separated from the aisles by a wide expanse of marble that opens into the transept. Upon entering through the west doors one finds oneself in a sober white room with large rectangular windows that admit ample natural light. The ceiling over the nave was painted by Pasquale Boccaccino (Incoronata). He also worked on the high altar, on the tabernacle and on the triumphal arch at San Vittore al Corpo.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The dome of the cathedral is 47 metres in diameter, reduced from 50 metres in order to fit the structure. It is supported by a single central pillar of white marble and is crowned by a lantern, which is inspired by a certain similarity at the Arco di Porta Ticinese with St. Mark’s Basilica of Venice but also recalls that of Pisa’s Duomo. The dome has five ribs 7.5 m wide and 25 m high, divided into two layers: five small ones at the bottom and seven large ones above, each one 9 m wide and 25 m high. Each rib contains six windows (five smaller ones at ground level and one large one on top) that appear placed at regular intervals along its length.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The interior of the dome is divided into two sectors: one white and the other grey, separated by a thin layer of translucent glass. 

The dome is topped by five apostles (Peter, Paul, John the Evangelist, Mark and Luke) and decorated with mosaics that depict scenes from the life of Saint Ambrose (the first bishop of Milan) where he is depicted in various roles: as a doctor (in a hospital), as a biblical scholar, as Wonderworker (he is shown curing a lame man), etc.

The central chapel at top of each transept arm contains the tomb of Cardinal Domenico Grimani.

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, in northern Italy. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Archbishop Mario Delpini. Milan’s Duomo is decidedly the most impressive structure and the emblem of the city of Milan, standing proudly in the main square of the city centre. 

Stay speechless in front of the majestic Gothic style of the church and admire the breathtaking views of Milan (and on clear days, the snow-capped peaks of the Alps) from the rooftop of the Church. 

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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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The seat of the Archbishop of Milan, the Milan Cathedral, Northern Italy | 20 Images
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