Church San Lorenzo, Milan

19 Reviews

Corso Ticinese 02 8940 4129

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  • Church San Lorenzo
    by goodfish
  • Church San Lorenzo
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  • Church San Lorenzo
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  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo

    Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 9, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the IV century B.C. San Lorenzo stood outside of the city walls, not far from the amphitheater, the imperial palace and the circus along the way Ticinensis, which joined Pavia to Milan and it was the access road leading to the city.
    For people who arrived to Milan that Basilica was presented as “one of the most impressive buildings of Christian West”.
    Since 1167, when the new walls with the moat were built, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, was incorporated into the circle of the city walls near the Porta Ticinese, the arrival point of the road from Pavia, one of the most important among those that led into town.
    In 1548 the Governor Ferrante Gonzaga built a new defensive walls and Basilica of San Lorenzo then found itself in a densely populated area. Basilica has been reconstructed many times during it one thousand and seven hundred years history. When you look at the apse you can unmistakably date any part of the church.
    Admission is free but any donations are welcomed and highly appreciated. Although is you wish to visit the Chapel of Sant’Aquilino with its late ancient mosaics and frescos of XV-XVI centuries then you are required to buy a ticket. Price of the ticket was 1.50 Euros.

    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Monday through Saturday
    from 07.30 to 18.45 hrs.
    Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00

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    San Lorenzo Maggiore.Chapel of Sant’Aquilino

    by Oleg_D. Written Dec 9, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the IV century B.C. San Lorenzo stood outside of the city walls, not far from the amphitheater, the imperial palace and the circus along the way Ticinensis, which joined Pavia to Milan and it was the access road leading to the city.
    For people who arrived to Milan that Basilica was presented as “one of the most impressive buildings of Christian West”.
    Since 1167, when the new walls with the moat were built, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, was incorporated into the circle of the city walls near the Porta Ticinese, the arrival point of the road from Pavia, one of the most important among those that led into town.
    In 1548 the Governor Ferrante Gonzaga built a new defensive walls and Basilica of San Lorenzo then found itself in a densely populated area. Basilica has been reconstructed many times during it one thousand and seven hundred years history. When you look at the apse you can unmistakably date any part of the church.
    Admission is free but any donations are welcomed and highly appreciated. Although is you wish to visit the Chapel of Sant’Aquilino with its late ancient mosaics and frescos of XV-XVI centuries then you are required to buy a ticket. Price of the ticket was 1.50 Euros.

    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flashlight and tripod.
    Open from Monday through Saturday
    from 07.30 to 18.45 hrs.
    Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00

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    • Archeology
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    Basilica San Lorenzo

    by antistar Updated Nov 20, 2013

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    The foundations of the Basilica San Lorenzo make it possibly the oldest surviving building in Milan. There's little left of the significant Roman presence in the city, which made Milan one of the foremost cities outside Rome at the time, but outside the Basilica is a row of Corinthian columns, the last vestiges of a third century Roman temple. The rest of the buildings that form part of the Basilica were constructed or reconstructed at various times over the last two millennia.

    Basilica San Lorenzo, Milan

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    Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore

    by goodfish Updated Apr 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a fascinating church with a mystery of a history. It has stood in its spot for around 1,600 years but no one is really sure who built it and for what purpose. Its sheer size and location, said to have been close to an Imperial palace, indicated that it was constructed for more than than purely public, ecclesiastical use. It was also outside of the city walls - where Romans of that period buried their dead - and inclusion of adjoining/freestanding structures of designs associated with funerary purposes point to possible origins as an Imperial mausoleum.

    Who knows?

    What is clear is that even though it was extensively overhauled several times, the main outline of its 4th-century footprint remains. This is an aisled tetraconch church, meaning it's roughly in the shape of a circle with apses that bulged from four sides, and an inner ring of pillars that creates an continuous ambulatory. You can see the original floor plan here:

    http://ciaomilano.it/e/sights/slorenzo.asp

    It was also partially constructed from materials lifted from a Roman amphitheater - a part of which can be seen underneath the church’s foundation. Outside, a colonnade of pillars looted from some long-gone pre-Christian pile mark the front of what was once a roofed, 4-sided portico.

    The interior originally would have been encrusted with fabulous mosaics - long gone due to rebuilding after several fires - but is now mostly bare stone with some scraps of later fresco work here and there including a 16th-century rip-off (and not a good one) of Da Vinci’s “Last supper.” A couple of euros gets you into a 4th-century chapel that was almost certainly meant as a burial chamber and contains a sarcophagus that may or may nor be occupied. Around the walls and niches are fragments of 12th and 14-century frescoes and what little remains of those ancient mosaics which would have brightly illuminated now-darkened spaces. Here also is the crystal reliquary of St. Aquilino, for whom the chapel is named, and a stairway that leads down to a bit of that Roman rubble which lies underneath.

    You can take a little 360-degree tour of the central sanctuary here:

    http://milan.arounder.com/en/city-tour/san-lorenzo-basilica-interior.html

    Entrance (except for the St. Aquilino chapel) is free.
    Monday/Friday/Sat: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
    Tues/Wed/Thursday: 7:30 - 12:30 and 2:30 - 6:30 PM
    Sunday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

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    San Lorenzo alle Colonne

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 16, 2012

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    San Lorenzo alle Colonne was the last church I visited in the end of a long day of sightseeing. My mom was so tired that she stayed in a café, while I walked here on my own.

    San Lorenzo is one of the oldest churches in Milan, it is believed that it incorporates the original chapel of the Roman Imperial Residence. When it was built in the 4th century, material from the nearby Roman amphitheater was used. Even to me, not knowing so much about architecture, it was obvious that this church is different to other churches I had seen in Milan. The style is not like the Lombard one, but rather Roman, with a central, round room in the middle of the church, and a high cupola. It is rather like a basilica.
    The church was substantially renovated in the 11th, 12th and 16th century, but its main characteristics were never changed.

    I visited quite late in the day, and unfortunately I was not able to see some of the most interesting things this church has to offer: The Capella di Sant' Aquilino has mosaics from the 5th century and as far as I have heard and read, they are just amazing. Unfortunately, the chapel was closed when I came here. In picture 4 you can see the entrance to the chapel, I was able to catch a glimpse of the frescoes when I looked through the door.
    There were some people praying in the church very loudly and absorbed, so I did not walk around a lot and did not take many pictures - I did not want to disturb them. Moreover, there were two dubious men walking around and following me, I am sure they were not tourists and it did feel very strange. When I left the church, they left, too, but they lingered on the steps of the entrance smoking a cigarette and, as I guess, waiting for other tourists? They were not really scary, but I wanted to tell this here as a remainder that pickpockets and other shady characters even occur in churches... Fortunately I had read about this on VT, and so I was not too surprised.

    Although I was on my guard, I enjoyed walking around at least a little. As I said, the architecture was so different to what I had seen so far on my trip to Milan, so it was very interesting. There were also some great frescoes and paintings.

    San Lorenzo definitely is a church I want to visit again when I come back to Milan one day, earlier in the day when the experience will hopefully be better :-)

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    Cappella di Sant'Aquilino

    by leffe3 Written Aug 4, 2011

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    Part of the San Lorenzo alle Colonne, this Byzantine chapel dates from the 5th century and has some wonderful mosaics

    Octagonal in shape (more obvious from the outside), it is believed to have been built by Galla Placida, daughter of Emperor Theodosius - originally the chapel was called St Genesius (Chapel of the Queen).

    It was described as a stunningly beautiful church, but over time ('renovations' as well as earthquakes, fires, etc) have reduced the mosaics and frescoes to a fraction of what they once were - 24 scenes of the martyrdom of S. Aquilino.

    Open 7.30am - 12.30pm, 2.30 - 6.45pm: Sunday all day
    Entrance fee: 2 euros

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    San Lorenzo alle Colonne

    by leffe3 Updated Aug 4, 2011

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    One of the oldest churches of western Christendom, dating from the 4th century.

    It's a complete hotch-potch of styles and ages as many fires, collapsing buildings etc have resulted in rebuilds.

    At the front of the church are 16 Roman columns which were moved from an unidentified temple in the 4th century.

    Inside the church, to the right as you go through the main entrance is the Capella di Sant'Aquilino (entrance charge). This Byzantine chapel dates from the 5th century and has some wonderful mosaics (see separate tip).

    The rest of the church is more 'typical' 16th century Renaissance-style, although of Roman rather than Lombard design. The dome is the largest in Milan.

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    San Lorenzo alle Colonne

    by leics Updated Mar 5, 2011

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    Leonardo da Vinci thought this church to be the most beautiful in Mialn. i'm not sure I agree, but it is very lovely.

    St Ambrose founded 4 churches in the city during the 300s, and this is one of them. It was partially constructed using the remnants of Roman masonry throughout the city...including the rather random row of Roman columns which stand outside the church and give it its name. They've been there since the 300s...imagine!

    The building you can visit now is a 16th-century reconstruction of the 11th-century version. It's octagonal inside, and really rather lovely. See if you can spot the inverted roman column, its capital now serving as its base...a deliberate symbol of the power Christianity held over earthly authorities.

    But the highlight for me was the Cappella di San Aquilino, to the side of the main church interior. You have to pay to visit (2 euro) but it is most definitely worthwhile. Probably originally built as an Imperial mausoleum its niches and arches contain the remains of beautiful 4th-century mosaics. Such things are not commonplace, so pay your 2 euro and visit them.

    And whilst you are visiting the Cappella do go down the steps behind the relics of San Aquilino to see the original Roman foundations.

    To the rear of San Lorenzo is the Piazza del Vetra, where public executions occurred until the 1500s. From there you can clearly see the mish-mash of building styles and sections which make up San Lorenzo.

    Highly recommended...but be aware that, like many in Milan, the church will probably be closed during the early afternoon (roughly 12-3).

    San Lorenzo from afar Alle Colonne.... Interior 4th-century mosaic Inverted Roman column
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    Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore

    by AusPinay Written Aug 9, 2010

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    Founded in the 4th century, San Lorenzo Maggiore Church was at the time one of the largest buildings in the west. The foundations were made of enormous blocks taken from other Roman sites and the interior was decorated with marble along the lower half and mosaics up higher.

    The church was rebuilt in the 11th century and heavily renovated in the 16th century. The church was restored in the 1930s.

    I learned this from our tour guide during our Grande Bus Tour of Milan. But we have seen this church while exploring Milan on foot as most of the tourist spots are within walking distance from our hotel!

    Outside the church you could see massive columns as well! They seem to form part of the church perimeter.

    part of the church massive columns outside sign outside
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    San Lorenzo MAggiore Square Where Locals Hang out

    by AusPinay Written Aug 9, 2010

    This place was teeming with locals when we arrived after our first cruise from Venice! We had to stay for 3 days before our second cruise and we spent a lot of time passing her and even sitting at the square soaking the local atmosphere! Milanians are very relaxed and modern compared to the Venetians. We prefer them actually as they are also friendlier and less conscious unlike their counterparts in Venice!

    The square is defined by the statue of San Lorenzo Maggiore.

    at the square columns at the square
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    San Lorenzo

    by MalenaN Written Mar 14, 2009

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    San Lorenzo dates from the 4th century and stones from a nearby Roman amphitheatre were used in the construction. It has been rebuilt after fires, but a large part of the walls and three of the chapels are from the 4th century. The dome, which is the largest in Milan, was rebuilt in 1573, after it had collapsed. Attached to the main building are other buildings from different periods.

    I didn’t visit Cappella de Sant’ Aquilino and now I regret it as it contains some very fine mosaics, and I love mosaics. Admission to the chapel was 2 Euro (February 2009) and it was closed as I arrived, but soon a man came and asked if I wanted to see the chapel. Then I said no and continued my tour of the church.

    The church is open between 8.30 - 12.30 and 14.30 - 18.30.

    San Lorenzo San Lorenzo San Lorenzo
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    SAN LORENZO

    by Maggies Written Nov 5, 2006

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    San Lorenzo alle Colonne is one of the oldest central-plan churches of western christianity. Built in the 4th century, it went through numerous renovations and today has a sixteenth century style in features such as the dome. However, it still has its original plan, the main walls and three chapels.
    Sixteen ancient Roman columns that line the front of this sanctuary belonged to some unidentified temple and were moved here in the 4th century.

    Columns in front of San Lorenzo The line of columns
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    Basilica di San Lorenzo

    by Diana75 Updated Jun 7, 2006

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    San Lorenzo Basilica was built between the end of 4th century and the beginning of the 5th century using materials from the close by Roman theater.

    It is said that the project of the church has its origins in Byzantium and the features of the oriental art can be seen inside.

    One of the most beautiful chapel of the church is Sant’Aquilino Chapel with its mosaic presenting the Christ surrounded by the Apostles, one of the finest examples of the paleochristian art from northern Italy.

    The facade of Basilica di San Lorenzo Inside the Basilica di San Lorenzo Inside the Basilica di San Lorenzo Wall icon in Basilica di San Lorenzo
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    San Lorenzo Maggiore

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 19, 2005

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    It is fascinating to observe the interior and pick out the Rarly Christian plan from the 16th century modifications. The chapel of St. Aquilinus and St. Hippolytus were built adjacent to the basilica in the IV century, while the small mausoleum to St. Sixtus dates from the early 6th century. Destoyed by fires on several occasions, it was rebuilt by Martino Bassi after it collapsed in 1573.
    The interior is worthy of admiration not only for its sixteenth century style, but also for its early Christian base.
    The wall paintings extant in San Lorenzo are extremely important, as they are among the few examples of Roman paintings left in Milan.

    San Lorenzo Maggiore
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    San Lorenzo Maggiore

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 19, 2005

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    The basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, built between the 4th and 5th centuries, is probably made of material taken from the nearby Roman amphitheatre. Its original Rerly Christian plan was later altered in 1573 by Martino Bassi who managed to preserve much of the original octagonal shape and who is responsible for the dome set on the high drum.
    Oriental influence has been recognized in the square towers at the four sides with the apses inscribed within the square thus formed; it has been claimed that the plan actually comes from Byzantium.

    San Lorenzo Maggiore
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