Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Italy, Duomo di Milano

We were fascinated when we saw the Duomo because it was our first time seeing such a humongous, Gothic structure. Built in 1386, it actually took nearly 6 centuries to complete the building!! You can imagine how many generations of engineers, architects, sculptors and stone cutters all over Europe were involved. Amazing. 

In Italian, the word "Duomo" means cathedral church. We visited the Duomo twice in a row as we wanted to explore its interior and climb up to the rooftop.

Photo credit to:

Here's a better photo of the Duomo.

The Duomo di Milano is the fifth largest Catholic cathedral in the world; the first is the St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. While we were there, there was a conservation work done to maintain the Duomo's marble. Not an easy work I would say because every part of the Duomo is a piece of artwork and it has really very high ceiling.

Just look at the facade of the Duomo. Elaborate and detailed. No wonder it took so long to complete.

Photo credit to:

The interior of the Duomo is very large and dark. Luckily, there were small openings at the top where the sun rays could come in.

There were many stained glass windows in the Duomo. And each part is meant to tell a story, just like a pictorial book.

This was found near the crypts. There were some candles already lit up by visitors. 

The final resting place of a priest...
There were actually quite a number of crypts in the Duomo. 

It was kind of freakish to see the crypts but I see that it's a common practice in Italy to display crypts of dead monks and priests. I only found out after I got home from the trip that there's another church nearby named San Bernardino Alle Olsa. This church was well-known to visitors because it had its walls stacked with skulls and large bones. 

Climbing up to the rooftop, we saw more statues, spires as well as gargoyles. The visit to Duomo kind of ended our morning.

We met a friendly staff on our way down. He said 'hello' in many Asian language, but we actually didn't know that he was talking to us until he said 'konichi wa'. We looked up and found him looking thrilled because finally, he got a response from us. The situation was cute especially when he said, 'Ah.. Japanese'. And I didn't want to disappoint him so I greeted him back in Japanese. Sometimes, making someone's day is a reward in itself.

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