Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our 3rd Day Trip: Milan

I think Mark Twain said it best in his book, Innocents Abroad, with his description of the Milan’s Cathedral.

What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems ...a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!... The central one of its five great doors is bordered with a bas-relief of birds and fruits and beasts and insects, which have been so ingeniously carved out of the marble that they seem like living creatures-- and the figures are so numerous and the design so complex, that one might study it a week without exhausting its interest...everywhere that a niche or a perch can be found about the enormous building, from summit to base, there is a marble statue, and every statue is a study in itself...Away above, on the lofty roof, rank on rank of carved and fretted spires spring high in the air, and through their rich tracery one sees the sky beyond. ... (Up on) the roof...springing from its broad marble flagstones, were the long files of spires, looking very tall close at hand, but diminishing in the distance...We could see, now, that the statue on the top of each was the size of a large man, though they all 
looked like dolls from the street... They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter's at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands.”

Corner detail of Milan Cathedral 

Milan’s Cathedral dominated our day trip to Milan and with good reason.  This structure could be study for years on end and never fully covered. The cathedral of Milan is often described as one of the greatest churches in the world as it dominates the Piazza del Duomo. Construction began in 1396 on this late Gothic style church and was not completely finished until 1887. The roof is open to tourists (for a fee), which allows many a close-up view of some spectacular sculpture that would otherwise be unappreciated. Also views of the city are amazing from the top of the Duomo with the Alps as a backdrop. 

At the top of the Cathedral 

Milan and the Alps

Tower of Saint Ambrogio 

View through a door to outside patio

Other photos of interest:
Spires of the Duomo

Inside the view of the Cathedral

Statues from the cathedral

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