Thursday, September 6, 2012

Penny Tours Milan Cathedral

After George went to work today, I walked over to the Duomo for a more detailed look.  I started out by walking around the outside to get a view of some of the amazing statues carved on the facade.

There are hundreds of statues that were carved over a period of several hundred years.  I especially enjoyed the illustrations of Bible stories that were low down on the front facade.  Check these out:

I intend to play a little game of  "Name that Bible Story" with George when he gets home this afternoon.

You're all going to get this one!

After touring the outside, I went inside and took my time looking around.  

Here it is - the fourth longest nave in Christendom.  When the cathedral was begun, it was designed to hold 40,000 worshipers - the entire population of Milan in 1386.

The red light at the top of this cross above the altar marks where they say a nail from the cross of Jesus is kept.  It was brought to Milan by St Helen who was Emperor Constantine's mother. 

These stained glass windows are among the many on the south side of the church - where they get more sun.  They are real stained glass - not painted.  They date from the 15th century and were paid for by wealthy families seeking the Church's favor. I've made two of the images extra large so you can pick out some of the stories represented.

The church has 52 enormous pillars - one for every week of the year.  Each pillar has amazing carvings at the top where the rib vaulting begins.

Here's another view of four of the pillars that might give you a better idea of their enormous size. Compare them to the man walking down the aisle.

Just look at that beautiful inlaid marble floor! The black marble is from the Lake Como area, white from Lake Maggiore, and the pink from Verona.

They say that the best part of the Duomo visit is a walk on the rooftop.  I'm saving that for another day.  But, I think the thing children love about a visit to the Duomo plaza is......

running around and chasing the pigeons!!!