Discovering the most unique churches in Milan

Many of the modern churches of Milan are totally bare, only spaces for prayer and meditation. Others, especially the older ones, are offered to the tourists with their loads of wealth, a sign of temporal power which over the centuries loved to show its greatness with gold, frescoes and monuments, works by the greatest artists and craftsmen.

The historical centre of Milan hosts many churches that deserve the interest of tourists visiting the city. Each of them is important for what it has represented in the history of Milan or the Faith. But some of these have such special characteristics that make them unique.

Unique because they are characterized by artistic or religious patterns which are not present in the most famous churches in Milan. Unique because they represent something more than the collective imagination of the citizens of Milan. Unique because the architects who have designed and conceived them went wild with special projects. Here is a little pick of some particular Churches of Milan.

On the corner of Via Luini and Corso Magenta you’ll find the Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, called the Sistine Chapel of Milan. Inside, in fact, are treasured magnificent frescoes: an explosion of colors, shapes and images, beautiful examples of Lombard painting dating back to the 1500s. A noteworthy detail is the expression of the faces painted by Bernardino Luini, extremely expressive and full of pathos.

In Via San Bernardino is located one of the most unique churches of Milan, San Bernardino alle Ossa. The church is so called because the walls of the chapel are completely covered with skulls and skeletons: the remains of executed prisoners and victims of the plague that were once kept in the ossuary and cemeteries in the area. It is a unique and unsettling show.

In Piazza S. Angelo, instead, is the Baroque-style church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The peculiarity of this church are the nineteen chapels, eight on each side of the nave and three facing the transept built and decorated by noble families and work corporations of Milan. The church is one of the city’s most important, and the religious functions are particularly striking here, with very engaging choral singing. It is also a place where inter-religious meetings are held between representatives of different faiths.

In via Francesco Pecorari is the Church of San Gottardo in Corte. Famous because on its octagonal tower was installed the first public clock: usually on the towers stood a sundial.

Between Corso Garibaldi and Via Marsala is located the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned. It is a rare example of a double church: in the churchyard, in fact, you can admire two mirrored buildings, identical even if built at different times. Two portals and doorways, two naves divided by a pillar. The story tells that it was Bianca Maria Visconti, wife to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, Lady of Cremona, who wanted to build a church identical and next to the first one, proof of the eternal love for her husband.

In Beria d’Argentine square, since 770, is located the Basilica of San Vincenzo in Prato. It is the only church in Milan that preserves intact the early Christian style, characterized by extreme austerity and simplicity. The particular structure, unchanged over the centuries, is so particular that the church is being studied by schools of design and international architecture.

 

 

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