Analysis Milan Cathedral, Italy

Situated in the middle of Milan, Italy in the Piazzo del Duomo is Milan Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world. The exterior and interior appearances are aw-inspiring, commanding respect in our modern day time period and long ago during the time periods in which the Milan Cathedral was constructed. The cathedral also earned respect by being the center for community functions. The Milan Cathedral has outer height of 215 ft and a maximum width of 302 ft allowing for a capacity of 40,000.The huge building is made of brick and faced with famous Candoglia marble.

The Candoglia, “pink” marble used to build the Milan Cathedral is still mined and exported throughout the world today. Both the gray and pink colors illuminate the structure. Facing the Milan Cathedral, the view is magnificant. Many spires atop it making them seem as though they are shooting up into the sky with crosses imbedded within and sticking out the tops. A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, particularly a church tower.Spires were meant to portray both strength and to reach to sky.

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The presence of this church can be viewed at a great distance almost reminiscant of a giant castle. The windows are Gothic style with pointed arches. This “pointed arch style” allowed for buildings to built reaching heights greater than before because the arches. give a structure strength and stability and also providing more support for the roof. Countless sculptures are atop the roof and also surround the masterpiece cathedral’s exterior walls.

In 1762 one of the main features of the cathedral, the Madonnina’s spire, was erected at the height of 356 ft. It was designed by Francesco Croce and perches at the top of a Madonna statue which also represents stature of the cathedral. Inside the Milan Cathedral are five wide naves, divided by forty pillars, and are reflected in the hierarchic openings of the facade. The nave columns are 80 ft. high. The ceiling is wonderfully colored while vaulting to numerous arching triangles.

The walls are surrounded by artwork and the windows boost brightness through their stained glass.The Milan Cathedral took a great deal of time to construct and underwent many changes throughout time. In 1386 archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo began construction, he employed chief engineer, Nicolas de Bonaventure, he bestowed the church with the strong Gothic imprint. Ten years later another architect, Jean Mignot, was called in to improve upon the already started work. His lives work saw to half of the completion of the Milan cathedral.

In 1500-1510 the interior was further completed adding four series of fifteen statues each.The statues are of saints, prophets, sibyls and other biblical characters. In 1571, of Pellegrino Pellegrini was employed as chief engineer. Although not many of ideas were actually carried out, He envisioned a Renaissance appearance because Gothic was becoming out of style. However in the 17th century plans were made to keep the cathedral true to its Gothic origin. Construction was completed by the 20th century.

However the last gate wasn’t inaugurated until January 6, 1965 and there are still blocks of concrete that have not been carved that could be made into statues.Cathedrals in medieval culture were ideally meant to be a center place of worship for the masses, but also served as a symbol of the empires strength. During this time period there was a constant battle for heirarchy between the church and state. The government was under a feudal system, which consisted of lords, vassals and fiefs. Oftentimes the cathedral was a way for the nobility to boast wealth.

Nobility believed that it was the fiefs God-given calling to faithfully serve their masters. So the cathedral was not always a holy place, also a place to reflect stature.The ideas of Pope Paul VI in Gaudiam et Spes where for a better functioning and understanding world, one that would put the church back at the center and it seems as though a world that would be better for the common good. I believe that this was the initial idea with the churches of medieval times but they ended up being more of a personal, nobility stature reaching accomplishment more than anything. Although today, many are considered very holy.

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