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Milan Cathedral's Interesting Highlights You Should Know
If there's one thing that makes Milan Cathedral more unique compare to other cathedrals in the world is its staggering statues collection. Milan Cathedral is decorated with whooping 3,400 marble statues that can be found in every corner of the cathedral. There are 135 gargoyle statues watching over Piazza del Duomo from every directions. There are approximately 700 statues of saints, prophets, martyrs, and patriarchs sculpted by renowned artists from the 14th to 19th Century with various styles, range from Rennaisance, Baroque, and Neo-Classical. One of the most prominent and noticeable sculpture is a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary known as la Madonnina located on the highest point of the cathedral.
Not many visitors know this one fact, that the exact place where Milan Cathedral proudly stood was considered sacred, at least centuries ago. The assumption come from many archaelogists who believe that Duomo il Milano's location was once a sacred Roman site before Christianity comes and spread across the land. Milan Cathedral was built not only to replace two former twin cathedrals that was destroyed due to fires, but also as a worshipping place dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente. THe cathedral was also built as a form of celebration to welcome Milanese new ruler, Gian Galeazzo Visconti.
While Milan Cathedral's architectures and sculptures collection is already stunning, wait until you witness breathtaking view of the city from the cathedral's rooftops. Milan Cathedral's terrazza allows you to admire not only the cathedral's stunning 135 marble spires, but also enchanting view of Milan with the snow-capped northern Alps and chain of the Apennines in the background. You can also spot several prominent landmarks of MIlan, such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II's soaring cross, Rinascente department store, San Siro football stadium, and Torre Velasca; Milan's first highest skycraper located just behind the Royal Palace.
You'll find this impressive sundial nearby the main entrance of Milan Cathedral. The sundial was placed by a group of astronomers from the Academia di Brera in 1768, and even until now many visitors are amazed by how precise it is. One source even stated that the sundial is used as a guideline to regulate modern clocks by MIlan citizens. You might want to prove it for yourself, so be sure to seek for the sundial before you enter the cathedral.
It is said as a secret treasure because you can only see it during certain times of the year. Upon entering the main hall of the church, you'll notice a spot marked with a red lightbulb right above the altar. It is said that a special wooden basket with angels carving is located in the spot, and inside the basket is a piece of nail allegedly used in Jesus' crucifixion. Every year on the Saturday nearing September 14th, the archbishop will ascends to the apex and retrieve the wooden basket. It is during that time of the year the nail is put on an exhibition.
Now if you wonder why Milan Cathedral look so heavenly, it is because the cathedral was built to depict imagery of a Heaven. Almost all parts of the cathedral were made by white marble of Candoglia, the cathedral is also decorated with over 700 figures of saints, martyrs, and prophets depicting their life in the Heaven, while the Virgin Mary statue is located on the pinnacle of the cathedral. There's even an ancient tradition that the Virgin Mary should always be in the highest point of all man-made structures in MIlan. When there's a higher building surprassing the statue, a replica was quickly made and attached on top of the structure.
How to Get Tickets?
You can easily purchase the entrance ticket to Milan Cathedral directly on the spot, though it's highly advisable to book the ticket online. Purchasing a MilanoCard will help you greatly to obtain greater and cheaper deal. Access to Milan Cathedral is free for individual worshippers visitors. For groups with a guide however, they will have to pay â‚¬5 or $5.86 USD. For group of pilgrims and students, the entrance fee is â‚¬2 or $2.34 USD per-person.
How To Get Around?
Walk around the Milan Cathedral to thoroughly admire its greatness. The cathedral is provided with a lift service for the tourists who wish to reach the rooftops without using stairs.
What Should I Wear?
Milan Cathedral is one of the most prominent worshipping place for the locals, so tourists are expected to wear decent and appropriate clothing. Obviously, shorts and tank tops are prohibited, so does skin-tight clothings. Wear sleeved-T-Shirt or at least layer your top with light denim jacket.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Milan Cathedral is in the afternoon, at least few hours before sunset. The rooftops is a perfect spot to watch breathtaking view of sunset in the city, though you should take the amount of crowds thinking the same thing to your account. Be there as early as you could, spare some time so that you can admire other parts of the cathedral before heading to the rooftops and enjoy the most spectacular view of sunset.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you don't necessarily need a guide since all informations you need is provided in this website.
How To Get There?
Milan Cathedral is reachable by few minutes walk from Duomo Stop To reach Milan Cathedral from the Central Station, take the Yellow Underground Line (M3) and alight at Duomo Stop If you go from Cadorna Station, take the Red Underground Line (M1) that will takes you to Duomo Stop From Garibaldi Station, take the Green Underground (M2), and switch to Red Underground Line at the Cadorna Station.