The Duomo of Milan – Cathedral of St. Maria Maggiore
Be prepared to open your mouth in complete amazement . . . or to experience speechlessness . . . or to utter any word or thought that comes out of your mouth when your eyes first see this incredible gothic cathedral that took 700 years to construct. That’s right, 700 years! Officially, the cathedral’s construction began in the year 1386!
This is the beautiful Duomo of Milan – Cathedral of St. Maria Maggiore.
You simply cannot understand the Duomo of Milan’s incredible magnificence until you see and experience it in person! My photos, nor anyone else’s photos, can never capture its beauty and grandeur!
If this cathedral was a tribute to God by the artists and builders, then this is truly what glory to God is!
Second only to the Vatican in Italy, the Duomo of Milan – Cathedral of St. Maria Maggiore, is the second largest cathedral in Italy. The cathedral is an endless array of sculptures, statues, and marble carvings! Every turn you make when viewing any corner of this beautiful creation is another awe-inspiring sight!
For three entire weeks in October, we had absolutely perfect weather during our visit to Northern Italy. The skies were as clear and blue as you see in these photos! And October is normally the rainy month in Italy! But not this October!
DID YOU KNOW?
Milan’s Duomo is the 5th LARGEST Christian churches in the entire world?
Following St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and Seville’s Cathedral, Milan’s Duomo is still massive in size and detail! Milan’s Duomo is the oldest in age and is approximately 110,00 square feet large which literally would take up a city block in length and width!
After looking at the cathedral from a distance with all of it’s 1000’s of tall spires, I move in closer in to view the intricacy of the sculptures as I approach the entrance.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Duomo of Milan has the most statues of any place of worship in the world.
At last count there are more statues Milan’s Duomo than any other building in the world: 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures! As we did, it is highly recommended to climb every one of the levels stairs or take the lift to the rooftop to fully appreciate the renowned architecture beautiful structure. From the terrazza you’ll see breathtaking views across Milan and, on clear days, you’ll even be able to see the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.
It’s not just the beautiful sculptures that amaze the eye, but also the endless linear accents of intricately carved flowers and leaves on the exterior. No molds were used here my friends, each tiny minutia portion of this grand creation was done by HAND!
Think about that for a moment!
DID YOU KNOW?
That the Duomo of Milan is not yet finished?
Was it the divine idea behind this creation that one must always LOOK UP at every single turn both outside and inside the cathedral, to remind us to look up to God?
Possibly, but I assure you that this is exactly what you will see and experience . . . you will constantly look up. That is until you climb to the very top, as we did, that you will then look down. That itself is another interesting experience: we human beings are just so small in the total scheme of creation.
This cathedral left me, as will anyone, compelled to feel many emotions and to consider many thoughts about creation, life, and God.
Magnificant beauty displayed in every inch and turn! Just stop and gaze at the details, despite how unworthy my photos are.
The enormous, tall, gigantic doors of the entrance to the cathedral with aged bronze sculptures surrounding the humble wood doors left me stunned with a greater appreciation for the artists of Milan’s Duomo. The intricacy of the carved linear accents are extraordinary. You know that you are about to enter an important house of God.
Once inside, the visual awesomeness continues with the height of the cathedral filled with hundreds of tall marble columns. A forest of marble columns!
Extraordinary sculptures that adorn numerous altars, both in the center and along the sides of the Cathedral call you to stop and pray, contemplate or mediate.
It was impossible to capture the intricacy of the stained glass work in the three windows behind the altar. The first window explained in stained glass, the most significant events of the Bible’s Old Testament, the Bible’s New Testament, and the last days of Christ’s life.
Despite having more photos of the interior of this glorious cathedral, I don’t want to overdose you so that you don’t want to see the remaining part of this tour . . . thus, it’s time to GO UP TO THE TOP of the rooftop of the cathedral on an extraordinarily perfect day outside!
We’re moving higher and higher, taking breaks along the way due to my bad back condition . . . I’m never going to let this physical predicament prevent me from experiencing this kind of beauty. It was difficult to say the least, but with an understanding husband and tour guide, it was well worth the pain to climb to the top of Milan’s beautiful Duomo!
We totally lucked out when others in our tour cancelled which resulted in a complete private tour with ‘skip-the-line’ priority over the crowds that followed . . . you can see them in the photo above.
What an unexpected blessing!
Surrounded by endless, and I mean, endless vertical marble spires and sculptures,
it feels almost as if you are in a gothic fairy tale!
Climbing higher, higher and higher! We’re not there yet!
At least 45 minutes was necessary to reach the top with all of my stops to rest my bad back. But I was not deterred!
I kept on!
The top is near!!! You can see it from this last level of steps!
The physicality necessary to climb this high and the pain that I endured with my back was totally worth
this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Only 5 stair steps away from the top, the view to the ground shows the smallness of the people below.
This is how far we’ve climbed to the cathedral’s rooftop!
Going up the final steps, the top is at hand!!
WE ARRIVE to the rooftop! Notice the difference in color of the marble???? A constant ‘cleaning’ of the marble in any part of the structure takes place…. the quest to preserve beauty against the elements of the environment never ends!
A juxtaposition of ancient with contemporary structure of the city of Milan! Incredible!!!
Finally, we reach the rooftop of the Duomo of Milan, and we view the famous Madonnina, the gold-covered statue of Mary perched on the top of the highest spire —
St. Maria Maggiore, the patron saint of Milan, Italy.
If you have any questions about what to see and do, where to eat, or where to stay in Milan, Italy, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a question via the comment section and I’ll be more than happy to help you out . . . and there is no fee to me or compensation paid towards me whatsoever!
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Magnificent! Milan looks beautiful, Roz.
Angie, Yes, Milan is beautiful and I would love to return someday!
Milan is so beautiful, I hope you are having a fabulous time there! When we go on vacation our son always tells us to take time to look up and enjoy the view. By your photos you are definitely looking up, what a view it is!
Yes, we found Milan to be amazing! How often do you visit? Your son is right, “keep looking up”!
Oh, I haven’t been to Milan yet but I would love to go. My son Josh just arrived in Melbourne Australia where he plans to travel for a year. I hope we can make it there while he is there. Thanks for sharing your Milan holiday with all of us!
You’re very welcome; it’s my pleasure to share these beautiful experiences with you. I’d love to visit Australia too; your son is wise indeed to travel so much!
Happy holidays my friend,
Whoa!!!!! What an incredible cathedral! Everything about it is just breathtaking!
Hi MJ! You said that right! This cathedral was totally amazing!
Having visited the Duomo myself, I must say, Your photos are absolutely amazing!! Great job.
Thanks so much Leann! I know that you found the Duomo to be incredibly beautiful!
Great photos Roz. That cathedral is breathtaking, and I’m so glad you got to the rooftop. It is just mind boggling to be there in the midst of it all.
Thank you Linda. What an amazing creation! We just loved Milan and its Duomo!
You have really managed to capture the majesty and beauty of this place!
Oh thank you so much Kathryn! What a nice compliment to receive!