Sunday, March 6, 2011

Doing Duomo

I’ve never been a very religious person. I went to Sunday school under protest with my brother and sister for a few years, then I think my parents gave up with trying to direct us up that particular path. Christmas services were done for a while, Easter service dropped off pretty quickly, but we all attended a religious school; that was pretty much the extent of my religious encounters. (Apart from screaming for help from a higher power during child birth, but I am sure I am not the first female looking for a miracle at that particular white knuckled time!) 

I have spent nine months admiring Duomo di Milano, it can not be ignored.  When I surface from the bat cave that is the metro, my heart always flutters from the visual impact it punches.  It is not only the magnitiude of its size, but the beauty of statues that accompany it.

Dumo Cathedral is a major tourist attraction of Milan. It is one of the biggest Gothic Cathedrals in the world and it is the third largest church in the world, (after St. Peter's and Seville Cathedral). Construction started in 1386 and was completed in 1965. With over 500 years of construction, you'd think they would of put in a couple of public toilets and a coffee shop.

The hollow and large interior is full of history and there are roof terraces, with magnificent panoramic views of Milan. From a height of about 70 meters, you can admire a breathtaking view, framed by oodles of statues, pinnacles, designs and gothic columns. The roofs are covered in slabs of Candoglia marble, in a total area of 8,000 square meters.

The visit to the rooftop offers a closer look at the detailed spires and the gargoyles which beautify this area. There is an elevator which carried us right to the top to avoid the 201 stair climb, (smart move with 2 little ones). There was no where to leave the pram so this had to be folded and taken with us, and then we found a corner of the roof top to 'store it', (was a bit worried it would look like an abandoned back pack at Heathrow airport, but it was still there when we returned).  There were still some stairs to be climbed at the top and the surface was rather uneven; the children enjoyed the slopes and treated it as a playground.  Which was not ideal as hubby had the security guard blow his whistle at him and point to our wandering son.  There was a picture sign of adults holding children hands, no excuse for dilect confusion here.  My daughter did make a good point, "but that is not me mama, I do not have my hair up".  I can tell she will be queen of excuses as a teenager!

After taking in the beautiful views we entered the cathedral.  I have been inside before, but it is one of those places that seems to show you something new each time. I can’t say I had a religious moment, but I did have a spiritual one; I am so taken by this building, to me it is pure art.

IF Interesting Fact
A souvenir model of the cathedral was thrown at the nose of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi during an attack on December 13, 2009

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