This church was originally part of the Benedictine monastery, the other buildings of which are now used as Milan's Museum of Archaeology.
Dating from 1503, the church is divided in two by a partition which allowed the nuns to follow the service and receive Communion without mixing with the general public on the other side.
It's a jewel of a place. Almost every inch of its walls and ceilinghas been painted, with side chapels and alcoves containing colourful scenes of religious stories. The fresco cycle which covers the walls dates from the 1600s and includes works by Bernadino Luini, more of which can be seen on the partition.
I particularly like the illustration of Noah's Ark I found on the nuns' side, painted by Luini.
Well worth visiting.
When we walked along Corso Magenta, we also visited San Maurizio alla Monastero Maggiore, basically just because it was there. We had read that there was a church in this street, but we did not expect too much. From the outside, it did not look too exciting.
But then we entered and ... wow!!!
The interior was simply breathtaking. All of the interior is painted, every single bit. There are many, many rectangular pictures as well as some that are rounded off, and even every single arch, pillar and frieze is painted. Even all the wooden parts of the organ are!!!
The church was built in the 16th century, and the paintings were created at that time, too. Before the erection of this church, there had already been a convent dating back to the 9th century and before - parts of this are now incorporated into the Archaeological Museum which is just next door.
Unfortunately, not much is known about why and by whom the church was constructed - neither the name of the patron, nor who the architects and the creators were. The names of the painters who did the earlier paintings are lost. The church was inaugurated around 1515 and it clearly shows the taste of the Lombard aristocracy at that time. There are pictures of many saints, heraldic ribbons, fruits and many different ornaments.
A few decades later, new paintings were created, and although there is no evidence, it is believed that the patron was Alessandro Bentivoglio, the prince of Bologna, who married a noblewoman of the Sforza family from Milan. The new pictures depict the couple and other members of their families in different scenes.
The convent was suppressed in 1798, and together with the fact that the church is located in a very humid part of Milan, this threatened the paintings immensely. A lot of restoration work was done over time, recently in 1964 and 1986.
This church, where every single spot is covered in bright paint, is simply amazing, and we spent so much time here looking at all the paintings. The fantastic thing is that the room you see when you first enter is only one room of the church - when there was still a convent located here, this was the place where people went to mass, the public sanctuary. A small door leads you to another room which is even bigger, and which was where the nuns attended mass, the convent hall. The two rooms have a similar style, but still a different atmosphere. And of course the walls in-between provide yet more space for paintings, ornaments and wonderful depictions!
Picture 1 & 2: The public sanctuary
Picture 3 & 4: The convent hall
Picture 5: The church from outside. How plain it looks - who could guess that there are such treasures inside?
As I really wanted to show more of this gem, I have created two travelogues. The first shows several pictures I particularly liked. The second shows some of the things I found unusual - ornaments and special pictures.
On via Giuseppe Verdi, on the way from Teatro alla Scala to Pinacoteca di Brera, there is the beautiful church of San Giuseppe.
With its elegant baroque facade San Giuseppe is one of the finest architectural achievements of Francesco Maria Richini (1630).
Built in the 8th century and rebuilt starting with 1560, San Vittore al Corpo it is said to be one of the most beautiful churches in Milan due to its spectacular decoration.
Erected on the site of a mausoleum for the emperor Valentiniano II, the romanic style church was intended to shelter the remains of the saint.
Santa Maria in San Satiro or just simply San Satiro is another monument in Milan marked by the concepts of the great architect Donato Bramante.
Bramante was commissioned in 1478 to rebuild and enlarge the church and used a single aisle, T-shaped plan.
Due to Bramante fabulous work the interior has the appearance of a Greek cross, but the presbytery is actually only an optical illusion.
The church is addiacent to Piazza del Duomo with the entrance in Via Torino.
The round form of the church has its origin in the early destination as civic votiv temple for stopping the plague.
The church was commissioned by San Carlo Borromeo in 1576 and subsequently restored many times.
The windows belong to the painter Piero Marussig (1879-1937).
The church of San Sebastiano is located in Via Torino, on the way to Porta Ticinese.
San Satiro embodies the architectural concept of the great architect Donato Bramante. Few traces are left of the original building built by Bishop Ansperto in the 9th century; in 1478 Bramante was commissioned with rebuilding and enlarging the church.
Bramante used a single aisle, T-shaped plan, but with an exceptionally large nave and transepts whose grandeur extends right up to the semi-circular dome. By using a clever perspective device, Bramante gives the interior the appearance of a Greek cross, where the presbytery is actually only an optical illusion. A similar spatial feeling is achived in the adjoining Sacristy.
The pure lines of the Romanesque baptisetry develop into a play of perfectly defined and circumscribed shapes.
We wandered into the Church of San Maurizio by mistake - we were looking for the Archeological Museum next door, and they seem to share a common address.
The church is also known as the Monastero Maggiore and houses frescoes by 16th century artist Bernadino Luini. I thought the colors in this one were so beautiful.
Named also San Carlo al Corso, this classical church was buit between 1832 and 1847 by Amati.
Its wonderful cupola was made by Felice Pezzagalli in1844 and is put directly on the high timpan without reinforcements.
One of Tibaldi’s most famous designs, San Fedele in Milan, built for the Jesuits, combined a creative interior spatial enclosure with a strong expression of the architectural Orders.
Named after the old church entrusted in 1567 by Cardinal Carlo Borromeo to the Society of Jesus, the San Fedele now houses a variety of activities. The place is an inspiration for some young Jesuits.
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