Church Sant' Ambrogio, Milan

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 Reviews

Piazza Sant'Ambrogio 02 8645 0895

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Sant' Ambrogio Church.
    Sant' Ambrogio Church.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Sant' Ambrogio Church
    Sant' Ambrogio Church
    by IreneMcKay
  • Sant' Ambrogio Church.
    Sant' Ambrogio Church.
    by IreneMcKay
  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Sant'Ambrogio

    by croisbeauty Updated Jan 30, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan, built by San Ambrogio in 379-386. The first name of the church was Basilica Martyrum, because it was built in an area Where numerous martyrs of the Roman persecutions had been buried.
    The current appearance was assumed in the 12th century when church was rebuilt in the Romanesque style. It has two towers, the 9th century Torre dei Monaci which is lower and situated on the right of the main entrance. It was used by the monks to call the faithful to the mass. The canons did not have a bell tower and were not allowed to ring, until they finished their own tower in the 12th century. It is called Torre dei Canonici ans is situated on the left of the main entrance.
    The atrium dates from the 9th century, same as the altar and the columns of the ciborium, and they still rest on the original pavement. Thebasilica preserves a valuable 13th century mosaic, "Christ Pantokrator", on the apse and the Stilicho's Sepulcre from the 12th century.

    Sant'Ambrogio the portico hut facade the altar

    Was this review helpful?

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Sant' Ambrogio Church

    by IreneMcKay Written Jan 8, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of Milan's oldest churches. It is named after the city's patron saint, Saint Ambrosius or Ambrose. The church was consecrated in 386 AD when Ambrose was bishop of Milan.

    The interior of the church and its courtyard were interesting. The remains of Saint Ambrose can be found inside.

    Sant' Ambrogio Church Sant' Ambrogio Church. Sant' Ambrogio Church.
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo

    Walking around and in the yard.

    by Oleg_D. Updated Jun 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the most ancient of Milanese churches. This is the burial place of Saint Ambrogio the Bishop of Milan, Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasisus the martyrs. Late Roman General Flavius Stilicho also is buried here in the luxurious tomb.
    Admission to the church, crypt and cloisters is free although the donations are highly welcomed.
    Near the entrance to the church you can see the column which was rammed by the devil. According to the legend the devil tried to put Saint Ambrogio into deep temptation but Saint Man instead fell into deep pray. Devil was so furious about his failure that he rammed the column with his own horns. If you don’t believe that then have a look at the column it still bears the holes made by the devil’s horns.
    Don’t forget to observe fabulous wood carving on the central doors covered by the glass and of course have a look at the columns and its capitals.
    Admission to Basilica’s museum is 2 euros. That museum is small but worth to visit because you shall be able to see some masterpieces made during the period from VII through XVIII centuries.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photo without flash light and tripod.
    OPENING TIME:
    From Tuesday through Sunday
    09:30-11:45 and 14:30-18:00;
    Closed on Monday

    Devil rammed this column Holes made by the devil's horns 1500 years woodcarving is under the glass
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio

    by Oleg_D. Updated Jun 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the most ancient Milanese churches. This is the burial place of Saint Ambrogio the Bishop of Milan, Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasisus the martyrs. Late Roman General Flavius Stilicho also is buried here in the luxurious tomb.
    Admission to the church, crypt and cloisters is free although the donations are highly welcomed.
    Admission to Basilica’s museum is 2 euros. That museum is small but worth to visit because you shall be able to see some masterpieces made during the period from VII through XVIII centuries.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photo without flash light and tripod.
    OPENING TIME:
    From Tuesday through Sunday
    09:30-11:45 and 14:30-18:00;
    Closed on Monday

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio. Crypt and Cloisters.

    by Oleg_D. Written Jun 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the most ancient Milanese churches. This is the burial place of Saint Ambrogio the Bishop of Milan, Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasisus the martyrs. Late Roman General Flavius Stilicho also is buried here in the luxurious tomb.
    Admission to the church, crypt and cloisters is free although the donations are highly welcomed.

    Admission to Basilica’s museum is 2 euros. That museum is small but worth to visit because you shall be able to see some masterpieces made during the period from VII through XVIII centuries.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photo without flash light and tripod.
    OPENING TIME:
    From Tuesday through Sunday
    09:30-11:45 and 14:30-18:00;
    Closed on Monday

    Crypt with Holy Relics Crypt with Holy Relics The Cloisters The Cloisters The Cloisters
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio. Interior.

    by Oleg_D. Written Jun 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the most ancient Milanese churches. This is the burial place of Saint Ambrogio the Bishop of Milan, Saint Gervasius and Saint Protasisus the martyrs. Late Roman General Flavius Stilicho also is buried here in the luxurious tomb.
    Admission to the church, crypt and cloisters is free although the donations are highly welcomed.
    Admission to Basilica’s museum is 2 euros. That museum is small but worth to visit because you shall be able to see some masterpieces made during the period from VII through XVIII centuries.
    Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photo without flash light and tripod.
    OPENING TIME:
    From Tuesday through Sunday
    09:30-11:45 and 14:30-18:00;
    Closed on Monday

    High altar Mosaic Mosaic The Stilicho's tomb
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio

    by goodfish Updated Feb 23, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is another very old, very interesting chiesa that does an unusually good job of providing some signage (in English!) to tell you what you’re looking at. Basilica Martyrum (Church of the Martyrs) was one of several religious houses established by St. Ambrose in the 4th century. Patron saint of Milan, he’s entombed in this church that was later rededicated in his name. It shares some characteristics of San Lorenzo Maggiore in that it was constructed outside the city walls during the same era, was near the burial place of some notable early Christian martyrs, and has been extensively rebuilt but roughly follows the original plan. Similarly, it also incorporates a 4th-century funerary chapel which would once have been a separate structure.

    But that’s where any resemblances end as St. Ambrose’s three-aisled footprint is of completely different shape, and the rebuilt structure is 11th-century Romanesque design. It’s just packed with goodies inside: a very interesting 4th-century sarcophagus; a gold and silver altar dating from 835; 9th-century mosaics; medieval frescoes… all sorts of stuff. My favorites were a fascinating array of carved capitols on the arcaded portico outside the entrance. Dating from the 11th and 12th-centuries, they’re decorated with twining botanicals, fierce beasts, winged creatures, squatty little people, and no two are alike.

    Down in the crypt you’ll find the mouldering remains of Sant’Ambrogio himself flanked by two others - Gervasio and Protasio - whom Ambrose had enshrined in his original basilica. All three were eventually piled into one sarcophagus and entombed in that gold and silver altar upstairs, which had been designed for the purpose, and then relocated here sometime after the crypt was built in the 1100’s.

    I paid a small fee of €2 to peer into Cappella di San Vittore in Ciel D’oro: the Chapel of St. Victor of the Golden Sky. This was the ancient shrine that pre-dated the original basilica and which was merged into the fabric of the current church in the 1400’s. It's sheathed in beautiful 5th-century mosaics which underwent hefty reconstruction after the church was badly bomb-damaged during WWII. This part of the church also contains a small museum of reliquaries, ancient artifacts and other paraphernalia. Among them is a 1944 creche that was painstakingly created from scavenged materials by Italian prisoners in the German concentration camp at Wietzendorf. The sign said that one piece - an ox - was left at the camp in remembrance of soldiers who “saw this Nativity Scene come into being but did not come home.”

    You can take a few nice 360-degree tours of the church and portico here:
    http://www.360cities.net/image/milan-basilica-ambrose-ambrogio-nave-altar#0.00,-5.00,70.0

    Open Mon- Sat from 10:00 - 12:00 and 2:30 - 6:00; Sunday from 3:00 - 5:00. As with all Italian churches, please remember to dress modestly: no uncovered knees or shoulders.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Sant' Ambrogio - interesting features inside

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 16, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As I described in my first tip about Sant' Ambrogio, the church is a very nice place to be, it is beautiful and has a wonderful atmosphere. However, there are also some special features that are worth having a closer look!

    Pictures 1, 3 & 4: This is the sarcophagus of Stilicho, said to keep the mortal remains of the Roman General Stilicho. It was created in the 4th century and I found it to be incredibly fascinating - such a beautiful work, and so many fascinating figures and scenes shown! And to think that it is so old!

    Picture 2: A fresco of Sant' Ambrogio, the bishop himself

    Picture 5: The golden mosaic of the apsis is from the 12th century. I thought that somehow, the gold does not really fit to the overall interior of the church.

    Apart from these, there are many more interesting things to see: The altar paneling is the only one left from the Karolingians in the world, there are two pillars with a snake and a cross on top, probably dating back to around 1000A.D., and the chapel San Vittore featuring mosaics.

    Take your time when visiting this church, wander around and have a look - it's worth it :-)

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Sant' Ambrogio - atrium

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 16, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The atrium is what you see first when you enter Sant' Ambrogio, it is a spacious inner courtyard and you walk through it before you enter the building of the church itself. I had never seen such an atrium before (or if I have, not one in this style), and therefore I was fascinated by the architecture and the atmosphere it created. I found it just so interesting and beautiful.

    Before Milan's city walls were built, the atrium was a place where the citizens found protection when the city was attacked.
    A very interesting feature are the capitals of the pillars. They show scenes from the bible as well as mythical creatures. Most of them are from the 11th century, and the scenes shown symbolize the fight between good and evil.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Sant' Ambrogio

    by ettiewyn Updated Sep 16, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sant' Ambrogio was another beautiful church that we visited in Milan. I was really fascinated by this church and its many interesting features.

    The church was constructed from 379 to 386A.D., at a place where an early Christian tomb had been. The bishop responsible for the project was Bishop Ambrosio, hence the name. He was also buried here, and thus the church was named after him. Over the centuries, the church was fundamentally changed: Benedictine monks enlarged it substantially in the 8th century, the atrium was added about a hundred years later and renovated in the 12th century. Further changes were done by the Sforza family in the end of the 15th century.

    When you arrive at Sant' Ambrogio, you first walk through the atrium, an enclosed courtyard which is very beautiful (see next tip). You then enter the church itself, which is very spacious and has a very special atmosphere. I enjoyed it very much. I also found the building very interesting because I had never seen a church like this before - so different to churches in Central Europe, the UK or Australia! There were not a lot o tourists here, and it felt very calm and spiritual. Nobody spoke loudly, people just walked around quietly and admired the building. After a strenuous day of sightseeing, it was wonderful to just sit in the church, enjoy the coolness and the quiet, and reflect on our trip and this beautiful building.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio - interior

    by leffe3 Written Aug 9, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Once inside of the basilica, a first glance reveals little of the history - a fairly small central nave with two aisles, the domed apse and a windowless second level. Relatively plain, its the fact the basilica is full of medieval art and relics that is the main attraction.

    It's towards the rear of the church and near to the apse that much of the most historic aspects are to be found (although by no means exclusively).

    The Ambo (marble carved pulpit) dates from the 12th century but it protects the 4th-century Sarcophagus of Stilichone, a survivor from the original church and one of the great examples of early christian art. It's to the left (as you look from the entrance), near to the golden alter (835 CE) and the 10th century canopy (or ciborium), fronting the apse mosaics - believed to range form the 9th to 12th centuries.

    And whilst the rest of the basilica is heavy with art from the 10th-16th centuries, it's the crypt that provides one of the most voyeuristic sights - that of the on-display skeleton of Sant'Ambrogio himself, dressed in all his bishopric finery.

    Yep - it's the skeletal remains of Sant'Ambrogio
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio - exterior and atrium

    by leffe3 Written Aug 9, 2011

    Just a few minutes walk from San Lorenzo Maggiore alle Colonne, Sant'Ambrogio also dates, like its near neighbour, from the 4th century. Consecrated in 386 CE, foundations indicate that the original church was huge for its time, but was rebuilt in the late 11th/early 12th centuries. The Romanesque style is what we more or less see today (although the basilica was badly damaged in WWII and renovations followed the 11th century plans).

    The entrance, through a small door, does not prepare you for the open expanse of the atrium - almost as big as the church. Simple in design, the large courtyard is flanked on three sides by an arcaded gallery and 6th century capitals. Archaeological fragments, relics, tombs, frescoes, many set in the walls, from the history of the church are to be found in the gallery.

    Overlooking them all are the two distinctive towers, the smaller (to the left as you enter) dates from the 10th century and is known as the Monks' Tower. The Canons' Tower is taller and dates form the 12th century.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • leics's Profile Photo

    A wonderful church...

    by leics Written Mar 5, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dating from the 1100s, on the site of the earlier church where St Ambrose preached and converted St Augustine, it is simply lovely.

    You reach the church through a courtyard with columns, their capitals carved with the most wonderful Medieval foliage and creatures both imaginary and real. Its doorway has superb Celtic-type carved decoration on its pillars; the intricacy of the designs underlining the sheer skill of the master masons who carved them.

    Inside the church there is a free-standing Byzantine pillar topped with a bronze serpent. i'd not come across one of these before, but the serpent symbolises Aaron's rod.

    The pulpit is also fascinating because its base is an enormous and highly-carved marble Roman sarcophagus, dating from around 385AD, which was once in the original church. The pulpit itself.

    There are Medieval frescoes, busts dating from the 900s, wonderful mosaics, Roman porphyry columns supporting tympanums dating from the 400s (renewed in the 800s)......not to mention the crypt which holds not only the body of St Ambrose in its glass coffin but also the bodies of two martyrs (Gervasius and Protasius) lying either side of him...this church is full of wonderful historical architecture and artefacts. So much, in fact, that I've had to make a travelogue here

    An absolute must-see, imo/

    San'Ambrogio exterior Mosaic and tympanum Superbly intricate carving Byzantine pillar and bronze serpent Roman sarcopagus
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rixie's Profile Photo

    Saint in Residence

    by Rixie Written Nov 14, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan, built by St. Ambrose, an early bishop of Milan, in the 4th century. The church was being renovated when we were there in 2010, but there was still a lot of architectural and ecclesiastical beauty in evidence, and we were glad we went.

    St. Ambrose himself is still there, in the crypt, wearing his robes and mitre. He's a bit bony but otherwise not in bad shape for someone almost 1700 years old. It seemed disrespectful to take a photo of his remains, so I photographed other parts of the church instead.

    Open Monday through Saturday, 9:00-noon, 2:30-6:30.

    Carving, Chiesa di Sant'Ambrogio Chiesa di Sant'Ambrogio Raised sarcophagus, Chiesa di Sant'Ambrogio
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Sant' Ambrogio

    by MalenaN Updated Mar 18, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Basilica Sant’ Ambrogio was founded by bishop Ambrogio (Ambrosius) between 379 - 386. Ambrogio is the patron saint of Milan and his remains are in the church. Through the years the church has been added to and reconstructed and has got a Romanesque architecture. In 1943 it was badly damaged by bombs.
    There are two bell towers, one from the 9th century and the other from the 12th century. It is not common for churches to have two towers, but Sant Ambrogio was used both worldly canons and Benedictine monks.
    Inside the church there are three naves and excellent work of art.
    There is a museum in the church.

    Sant Ambrogio
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Milan

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

20 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Church Sant' Ambrogio
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.2 miles away
Show Prices
3.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.3 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.3 miles away
Show Prices

View all Milan hotels