3 Icons of Milan’s Religious Architecture
Posted: Aug 17, 2017
When you think of Milan, you think of art. Everything, from Da Vinci’s masterpiece The Last Supper to cutting-edge modern gadgetry to the stunning plates of food, is created with beauty in mind.
This is especially true of the city’s architecture. Walking through the streets busy with cosmopolitans, you’ll pass galleries, monuments and piazzas, all of them spectacular in style. Milan’s real champions, though, are her churches. Here are three of the most magnificent examples that you might spot on your way to your hotel with one of Shuttle Direct’s Milan airport transfers.
Basilica of San Marco
This beautiful church, located within Piazza San Marco in the north of the city, is a melting pot of architectural styles due to its repeated transformations over the centuries. Started in the mid-1200s, it began as a distinctly Romanesque building, but some Baroque features were added in the seventeenth century in the form of ceiling frescoes and paintings by Procaccini and Cerano. In the later nineteenth century Maciachini gave the church a neo-Gothic façade, increased its height and restored the rose window.
The story goes that the church was named after San Marco to display the city’s gratitude to Venice for the aid given to them in the struggle against Barbarossa. In 1770, Mozart himself resided in the monastery for three months.
The Church of San Marco remains a popular place of Catholic worship and is the second largest church in the city after the Duomo.
Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore
With building work having started in the 4th century, the Chiesa di San Lorenzo Maggiore is the oldest church in the whole of Milan. The foundation blocks were taken from other prominent Roman buildings of the time and the architectural style is reminiscent of when the Empire was at its height.
The interior of San Lorenzo Maggiore is magnificent, with the walls lined with marble and mosaics. Sixteen Roman columns stand proudly at the front of the church and outside is a statue of Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor. The beautiful dome is the highest in all of Milan.
The most special feature of the church has to be the Cappella di Sant’Aquilino, a chapel which houses 4th century Byzantine mosaics and the sarcophagus of Galla Placidia, the sister of Rome’s last emperor. For a step back in time, take the stairs behind the altar to see the original foundations which were taken from a Roman amphitheatre.
Basilica of the Corpus Domini
Just beside Parco Sempione in the north of the city lies this relatively new but nonetheless breathtaking church. Its relatively plain exterior is no match for its stunning, vibrant interior which is covered in decoration.
The building is a mix of Neoromanesque and Neobyzantine styles with some elements of Art Nouveau, which makes the church really stand out amongst Milan’s many others. Upon entering you’ll be struck by the amount of colour on display, from the gold finishing to the Venetian mosaics to the ceilings beams in red and orange.
A large fresco is the star feature, depicting Jesus and the 12 apostles surrounded by angels. Also worth seeing is the altar, designed by Arosio and covered in marble and semi-precious stones.
How to Get There
Make your Milan airport transfers into the city centre quick and easy by getting in touch with the Shuttle Direct team today. We’ll get you to the church(es) on time, every time.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Milan airport transfers, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.