For Italians, Milan can be a very controversial city in that opinions on its beauty and charm can be divided. For some people Milan is magnificent, beautiful, stimulating and, considering the economic crisis of the country, it still offers interesting opportunities, especially in the fashion industry and in the creative design world. For others, Milan is actually grey, gloomy and “too big” by Italian standards. The citizens of Milano can tend to be colder more aloof than what one might expect on the contrary to typical Italian warmth and hospitality. For the rest of the world, Milan represents the northern Italian capital of style and fashion. The city was and still is the home for many famous artists, designers and fashion ateliers such as Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and some more. Not only do some of the Worlds most famous brands showcase their designs in Milano fashion week but every year precisely in April, the city hosts the renowned Milan Design Week: a huge event that takes place across shops, museums, foundations and many amazing places across the city. Everybody has their momento to show what they believe to be the design of the future. If you’ve been around for some time, you already know that last year we did a pretty extensive guide to the “Fuori Salone” click here.
Wether you like Milan or not, we must all agree that the most important and fascinating facades of the city’s center is definitely the World famous Duomo. That’s why we decided to share 6 fun facts about this amazing Architectural wonder with an amazing gallery that documents how the Duomo and its surroundings were in the past and how they are now. Andiamo? Let's go!
1. Milan’s Duomo is one of the largest churches in the world
The Cathedral is the fifth largest church in the world, surpassed only by some recent ones: the Basilica of S. Pietro in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida (Brazil), the Cathedral of San Giovanni Divino (New York) and the Seville Cathedral (Spain).
2. The Duomo is the world's largest Gothic cathedral
Unlike many Italian churches, the Duomo was built with an architectural style that is more typical of northern Europe than the Mediterranean. The Duomo is the largest Gothic church in the entire world.
3. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but neither was the Duomo of Milano. It took half of a millenium to finish it
The construction of the Cathedral officially began in 1386 and was consecrated in 1418, even if only the nave was completed. For the next 200 years the works continued, but faced long and frequent interruptions, mainly due to economic problems. It was Napoleon who finally called for the completion of the façade and restarted the construction at the beginning of the 19th century. Several decades later, a five-year project to clean up the building was initiated in 2002 and the restoration and cleaning of this work continues up until this day to keep the marble well-polished. Considering that the Duomo is a real continual work in progress even today, the Duomo of Milan can be considered as the most laborious cathedral in the world.
4. Did you know that on the façade of the Duomo you can find the original Statue of Liberty?
It is said that there are more statues on the Gothic façade of Milan's Duomo than in any other building in the world. In total, there are 3.400 statues, as well as 135 gargoyles and 700 other figures that adorn the cathedral. For those who may not know, The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. Since Napoleon was the one who finished its façade, there is indeed the original version of the Statue of Liberty between the various statues in the façade of the Duomo.
5. The red light of the Duomo in Milan
Above the altar of the Duomo, there is a point marked with a red light: allegedly it’s where a nail of the cross of Christ is kept. Every year, on the Saturday preceding September 14th, the archbishop of Milan recovers the nail and allows the faithful to contemplate it.
6. Milan’s Duomo is coated with an antismog substance
The Duomo has a special natural finish applied on its surface that, activated by the sunlight, can self-clean and purify the air from polluting agents. Cool right? Have a look at how beautiful its façade is during different times of the day:
Secret: You can find an extensive gallery of aerial footage of Milan online
Thanks to the work of Scapeviews it's possible to have a different point of view of Milan. Also, if you're looking for jaw-dropping videos of the city you should totally have a look at Electric Life's Youtube channel and, of course, subscribe to Atellani's Youtube channel as we often post aerial content of Milan too :)
What about you? Have you ever visited Milan? Did you know any of these curious facts about the city? Let us know your thoughts on our Twitter account! Interested to find out more about the gear used for the photos and vides? Click here then.