Sunday, August 25, 2013

Milan’s Duomo Cathedral

This might sound terrible. But, I am not easily impressed with European cathedrals anymore. I usually look at them and think: “Ok, another giant church”. I think this is because I have been lucky enough to travel around Europe and have become jaded. Few cathedrals stick out in my mind.

That being said, I really enjoyed Milan’s Duomo cathedral. It is towering over the main square in Milan and is a beautiful multicolored building. The square itself is a beautiful place to sit and enjoy people watching or giving some food to the many many pigeons.

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The cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in Europe. It has a capacity of 40,000! It has no bell tower, but has 135 spires, 3,400 statues and 155 gargoyles.

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I respected the rules and took no pictures inside the cathedral. But, trust me when I tell you it was beautiful. One of my favorite parts of any cathedral is the stained glass. I love seeing the sun shine through the colors. The glass in this cathedral was probably my second favorite in Europe (Sagrada Familia) being the first. The colors were so vivid. It was beautiful.

From the outside of the cathedral tourists can go up to the tower (for a fee) and get a nice view of Milan and the square below. We opted not to do this, because just before we went to the cathedral we went to the Museo del Novecento and got a similar view of the square.

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Note: There is a strict dress code for this cathedral. There were soldiers outside checking purses and making sure people were dressed properly.  Unlike other churches in Europe, this cathedral does not provide anything for tourists to put on. Women must have their shoulders covered and wear clothes that go below the knee. For the men, it is similar, but a little less strict.