Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 16, 2012

It is worth going to Milan just for this

The cathedral in Milan is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente. The Gothic structure took 6 centuries to complete. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone standing in front of it.

The cathedral was begun in 1386 by Archbishop Antonio da Saluzza. The marble was quarried from Candoglia. Various architects and engineers worked on the building, including Frenchman, Nicholas de Bonaventure, giving the cathedral distinct French style. Napoleon also had a hand in the construction, much later on, in 1805, when he insisted that the facade be completed. He was crowned king of Italy in the cathedral.

The fact that it is still standing for us to admire is a miracle. Much of Milan was bombed in WWII, but the cathedral escaped the bombing and stood firmly in place.


It has been cleaned recently and it is looking magnificent, even on a dark, misty morning.

The interior is very grand.

The stained glass windows are glorious.


The souvenir stand seems a little out of place…..a spaceship appears to have landed.


I find the exterior absolutely fascinating. Have a look at some of the sculpture which covers the building.









The bronze doors tell many stories.









To get a wonderful view of the roof, go to the terrace of the Rinascente department store.

It is particularly lovely at sunset.




  1. Amazing work… good shots!

    • Thank you…it is a wonderful subject.

  2. Phenomenal photos! Can’t wait to revisit–the Duomo has never looked better.

    • As I said, it is worth going to Milan just to see this glorious building.

  3. Deb your photography is fabulous, can’t wait to go back next year.

    • I hope you come to Lucca as well.

  4. My favourite cathedral in the whole world. I keep going back and it still gives me the same feeling of awe.

    • It is amazing to stand in front of this cathedral and marvel at the work that has gone into it.

  5. You really captured the splendor, Debra. The white facade looks amaaaaazing against the black sky!

    • My camera was misbehaving at this point, but it rallied for the cathedral.

  6. Beautiful work, Debra! Love the statues “balancing” on the tips.

    • They have done a great job cleaning the building, it looks stunning.

  7. Stunning pictures Debra.
    Pam Proctor

    • Thanks, it’s a stunning building.

  8. Love the Duomo! It really does look like a white wedding cake!

    • It is spectacular, no wonder it took so long to build.

  9. It is magnificent work of art . Great photos, Debra.

    • I could stand in front of it for hours, in fact I think I did.

  10. Beautiful images as always. I especially love the ones of the Duomo at sunset -this post makes me long to go back to Milan.

    • Go to Rinascente for the best views.

  11. You know, I live here, but I feel like you’ve given me a new glimpse of my city’s duomo. Thank you so much. You’ve captured it’s spirit perfectly! (Did you go on the roof? Very much fun!)

    • I have walked in the roof, it is fabulous to be there among the carvings.

  12. 40 + years since I first saw it and it is still the most magnificently spectacular building I have seen to date. I just love it and the photographic opportunities are endless….

    I hope BDL survived the recent heavy rain & floods that seem to have devastated parts of Tuscany & Umbria?

    • Some of the roads around BdL have been damaged, but mostly the town seems to be OK from the reports I have had from friends.

  13. Especially the (now) weathered green doors!!!

  14. I loved Milan and the Duomo was one of the most beautiful cathedrals that I saw while in Europe. Definitely worth it.

    • This one, the one in Siena and Venice are my favourites in Italy.

  15. Holy Toledo, it’s spectacular!! Your close-ups so revealing; always some kind of strife has been going on..throughout our history. Regardless, they had time for art, construction and the miraculous outcomes. It must feel other-worldly, as well, when you enter the massive doors. All those spirits, from all those centuries, crowding around you with a warm welcome to view it ALL! I’ve never been there, but you did a beautiful job of bringing it to us. Again. Grazie.

    • It is incredible to walk through these doors and to think of all the people who have been there before, it can make you feel insignificant.

  16. Thank you Debra… This is a post that Italians have to read and know… I’m very glad to reblog it!

  17. Reblogged this on robertoalborghetti and commented:

  18. Yes indeed it is one of the most unique cathedrals in Italy. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures they are stupendous!

    • I think the interior is quite sombre and I always feel that I have to be very quiet and serious there.

      • Yes! No matter how flamboyant for exciting the outside of a church is…it is all hush hush on the inside.

  19. I always see and learn something new whenever I revisit the Duomo. My parents grew up about 45 minutes north of Milan and they can remember seeing the bomb blasts in Milan. My mom told me that, during the War, they took down La Madonnina at the top of the Duomo to protect her from the bombings. I love your picture of the staues at sunset. Absolutely gorgeous.

    • I was lucky to be there at just the right time for those photos.

  20. Brilliant pictures!

  21. So true Debra. It’s a spectacular building and you have taken some amazing photos.

    • Thank you. I love this building and never miss the opportunity to visit whenever I am in Milan.

  22. Reblogged this on Matteo's World and commented:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  23. […] […]

  24. What an awesome piece of architecture! That souvenir stand is certainly incongruous 🙂

    • The cathedral is stunning…even with the stand.

  25. Many have blogged about this. I can definitely spot how much of a pro blogger you are. This is a magnificent post about a highly recognized, magnificent building. LOVE LOVE the details. And the sunset shots – WHOA!
    Three centuries to build such masterpiece. Just incredible. Totally worth it. It’s hard labor that gives out better results.

    • My camera was playing up a lot in Milan. I was lucky to get any shots at all, but I persisted with it and I love the sunset shots.

      • Persistenc-y is the best quality …. of picture-takers and bloggers. 😀

  26. I’m in awe! Love those detail shots.

    • I saw your post on Milan as well. It is a magnificent building isn’t it?

  27. Walking on the roof top was simply breathtaking. I can’t wait to revisit Milan again, I had the best of times there.

  28. […] There were so many wonderful places visited in 2012…Lucca, Florence, Milan, […]

  29. […] It is worth going to Milan just for this ( […]

  30. […] Milan…don’t let anyone tell you this is an ugly industrial town. It is full of the most elegant shops in the world and some of the most stylish people you will see anywhere. If you are interested in fashion Milan should be on your list of places to visit. It has fabulous restaurants and galleries and a magnificent cathedral that defies description. […]

  31. It’s truly a magnificent building and you have done full justice to it.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: