Milan and its churches

Milan is a city of many faces where nothing is easy to discover. Also regarding the architectural beauties his reputation as a great city is respected, particularly in buildings of all European City:

 The churches.

Two thousand years of Christianity have left a definite imprint on Milan. Unfortunately tourism is still too tied to the most famous stages such as:

the Duomo Cathedral, Sant’Ambrogio and Santa Maria delle Grazie, which with their beauty and Majesty tend to make us forget that Milan can boast, as few other cities in Europe, many other spectacular churches and Basilicas.

Below I list some that it’s really worth visiting and that particularly fascinate me. Are not in order to a beauties, simply because otherwise I would have owed write all on the same line:

  • San Cristoforo sul Naviglio

It is a charming complex consisting of two adjacent churches.

  • San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

It ‘a church in Milan, once the seat of the most important female monastery of the city, belonging to the Benedictine order. And ‘intrnamente decorated with a vast cycle of Leonardo school frescoes and is referred to as the “Sistine Chapel” of Milan and Lombardy.

  • Basilica of San Simpliciano

And ‘considered an important place of Catholic worship in Milan, construction began at the behest of Sant’Ambrogio and placed in a strategic position on the four main roads out of the city. Yes there that once in the third century, in its place stood a pagan cemetery, documented by the remains of marble discovered in the surrounding area. Attached to the church is the beautiful monastery of the same name, now the headquarters of the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy, with two interesting cloisters including an extraordinary oratory.

  • Church of San Marco

The Church of San Marco is immersed in one of the most picturesque corners of Brera. A very short walk from the Lanza stop (MM2, green line), the Church of St. Mark (1254) is a monument to the Milanese history: here lived for three months the young Mozart, in 1874, Giuseppe Verdi himself conducted his “Mass Requiem “in memory of Alessandro Manzoni.
Inside, the church gives way to frescoes by the indescribable beauty: Pentecost of Urbino Carlo, overlooking the ceiling of the Chapel of St. Joseph; the Passion of Christ, the dominant theme in the Chapel of Mercy, with oil paintings that completely cover the side walls. Outside the church you can find a Cloister of the past.

  • Church of San Babila

It ‘the first Christian church in Milan, built around the year 46, was once considered the most important in Milan after the Duomo and the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. In San Babila square, in front of the facade of the church, there is the Lion’s Column. Legend has it that this lion is the plunder of a failed attempt to conquer Milan by the Venetians. People said that one night the Venetian army, stationed just outside the walls, was preparing for a night attack to surprise the Milanese, to prevent them from organizing an adequate defense. But discovered by people from Milan who went down readily in the invader streets there was nothing left to do but cut and run, leaving behind, among other things, also a stone lion, symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice.

  • Church Sant’Antonio Abate

The church was built on the remains of a hospital for the care of the “sacred fire”, of which he died Antonio Abate to which it was dedicated. With its beautiful cloister of Bramante and lepregevoli interior paint it is definitely one of the best preserved churches of the fourteenth-sixteenth century Milan.

  • Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore

The Basilica of San Lorenzo in its construction was the largest building in the West central plan. The dedication of the temple in San Lorenzo martyr was first documented in 590.

  • Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio

Among the most important churches of the city, it houses the relics of the Magi. In fact it is said that the bishop Eustorgio, sent to Milan as governor, carried within a stone ark, from Constantinople to Milan, the relics of the Magi on a cart drawn by two oxen. Arrived in Milan’s Porta Ticinese area, the oxen were bogged down in the marshes of canals and Eustorgio decided to build a church at that point. The church was named Eustorgio and here was placed the sarcophagus with the relics.

Legends aside the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio also boasts of beautiful affreschie wonderful Gothic tombs, among them the Ark of St. Peter Martyr, carved by Giovanni Balducci and kept in Renaissance Portinari Chapel, decorated by the mastery of Vincenzo Foppa, large master of the Lombard Renaissance before the arrival of Leonardo. Noteworthy is also the underground necropolis with tombs and early Christian inscriptions diepoca.


The tower of the Basilica there is no cross, but the Star of Kings 8 bits Magi and on the same bell tower, stands the oldest public clock of Italy. Behind the Basilica starts the Park of the basilicas that connects with the Basilica of San Lorenzo and Piazza Vetra, where once took place the executions.

  • San Bernardino alle Ossa

As soon as you enter the church, which is a central octagonal plan with radiating chapels and a crypt, turning right, you enter into a short corridor and remains almost with bated breath: a scene precisely ‘macabre’, almost shocking, but deeply touching, presents the visitor: the chapel-ossuary is square and has all walls (including doors and pillars) covered with skulls and bones, which were arranged in various ways, going so far as to compose geometric shapes. Long tradition believed that these remains belonged to the Christian martyrs killed during clashes with gli’eretici Aryans’ to S.Ambrogio time and perhaps is related to this reason the name of the ossuary ‘Innocents’ given by the Milanese to this place, which for centuries was the object of worship and veneration. For all, it became so S.Bernardino of the Dead, or ‘the Bones’.In fact, the gruesome findings do not come from that ancient legend, but would  belong to different people died in the hospital of Brolo, which was next door.

  • Santa Maria at San Satiro

In the church of Santa Maria at San Satiro you can see amazing work, realized by Bramante. Although the space available for the church was not much, it was built a truly monumental building of breath: three naves, the central covered with a barrel vault, with a hemispherical dome at the intersection with the transept. However the lack of space prevented the construction of the fourth arm to the presbytery. Bramante did then build a mock space in perspective, with a time filler, deep only 97 cm but can suggest a much greater depth, real forerunner of all the examples of trompe l’oeil of subsequent developments in art history.


1)The cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
2)Teatro alla Scala
3)The Quadrilater of Fashion District
4)The Last Supper and Santa Maria delle Grazie Church
5)The Sforzesco Castle
6)Brera District
7)The Art Gallery Pinacoteca and the  Brera Accademy
8)The Porta Nuova skyscraper
9)The Navigli canals
10)The Monumental Cemetery

11) Around the churches



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