The churches and the cathedrals of Europe are not only religious destinations, but a destination for those who crave ancient architecture and a taste of history. The Duomo di Milano is definitely the attraction to see if you love the ancient Roman Catholic Architecture in and around Europe.
Construction of the Duomo di Milano
The ground where the cathedral sits has long been a place of worship and the center of life for the people of Milan, Italy. In fact there has been a place of worship built on this site ever since the year 335 A.D.! Though the ancient basilicas and synagogues are long-gone, new construction on the current Duomo di Milano began in 1386 and lasted over 600 years. The time and detail put into this building came from 300+ workers per day sculpting, sanding, and working masonry into the holy figures that adorn the facades and walls. Only in the 20th Century did the final original construction end, and the upkeep began. With that kind of attention, it could last another 600 years…
Completion of the Duomo di Milano
The completion of construction happened in 1805 under a rush, ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Napoleon had recently conquered Italy and was making preparations to crown himself the King of Italy. For the Coronation, he want the crowning to take place at the Duomo, and wanted everything perfect. With the help of new architect Carlo Pellicani, work sped through and the coronation went perfectly in a — nearly — completed cathedral. Even today a full statue of Napoleon sits high on one of the spires of this gorgeous cathedral.
Today, the Piazza around the Duomo is still the center of life for Milan. Not only is it the physical center of Milan — with streets and roads radiating outward to the farthest reaches of the city — but it is also the cultural center of the city, hosting concerts, lightshowns, festivals and many other events.