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.
A pure example of the Renaissance style, Cappella Portinari (Portinari Chapel) was commissioned by Pigello Portinari in 1462 and finished in the year of his death 1468.
Vincenzo Foppa's wonderful frescoes high up on the walls, were discovered in 1878 and restored at the beginning 20th century.
In the center of the chapel, stands the famous tomb of St. Peter Martyr, built by Giovanni di Balduccio, a follower of the great Pisan Innovator, Giovanni Pisano, between 1336 and 1339.
The tomb, which in 1734 was moved from the left nave of the Basilica to the Portinari Chapel, is made of a white marble urn supported by eight statues of Virtues resting on them.
The bas-relief decorations present scenes from life of St. Peter Martyr.
From the first moment I saw it, Sant'Eustorgio became one of my favorite sites in Milan.
Commissioned by Bishop Eustorgio II in 515 the church was almost completely damaged in 1164 by Frederik Barbarossa. He was also the one who took the Roman sarcophagus supposed to contain the relics of three Magi to Cologne.
The reconstruction works started in 1190 and last several centuries.
The typical Lombard bell tower was built between 1297 and 1309 and in the 15th century was added the beautiful Renaissance style Portinari Chapel.
Beaside this other beautiful chapels can be found in the church: Brivio with the tombs of Giacomo Stefano Brivio, Torelli Chapel with the Gothic arc on twisted columns used as Pietro Torelli's sepulcher or Visconti Chapel with the tomb of Stefano Visconti, a gothic masterpiece by Giovanni di Balduccio.
The beautiful marble altar, although unfinished, is decorated with scenes of Passion of Christ.
The columns which can be found today in front of San Lorenzo church are dating from 2nd-3rd centuries and are remains of a pagan temple which once stood on that site.
The columns are 8.5 m high and are of Corinthian style.
On both sides the columns row are finished by an arch, out of which the southern one is contemporary.
The sixteen columns of the 2nd century AD still standing in front of the basilica of San Lorenzo are the most important Roman remains in Milan.
They were part of a temple (or perhaps even a public baths complex), and were transported here in the 4th century AD to form the front side of a four-sided portico.
Sant'Eustorgio was commissioned in 515 by Bishop Eustorgio II who had it built over the site of an even older 4th century building put up during the time of Bishop Eustorgio I.
At the end of the 11th century the church was rebuilt in the plain Romanesque style and thus it remained until Frederick Barbarossa caused its almost complete destruction in 1164.
In 1190 reconstruction was undertaken, which would last several centuries. The 15th century brought the southside chapels and a gem of Renaissance architecture, the Portinari Chapel.
The church contains so many art treasures it might well be called a museum: the Brivio Chapel by the brothers Francesco and Tommaso Cazzaniga, the Briosco and the Torelli Chapel with the Gothic arch on twisted columns are two noteworthy examples, the Visconti Chapel is a Gothic masterpiece by Giovanni di Balduccio, the frescoes decorating the chapel bear Tuscan influence, namely that of Giotto, and finally the Portinari Chapel which is a blend of the finest Tuscan architecture with the painting of Vincenzo Foppa.
Porta Ticinese is definetely one of the most unusual remains of the circle of walls put up in 1171 following Barbarossa's destruction of the city and then rebuilt by Azzone Visconti after 1329, although its present appearance is due to a 19th century restoration project.
The gate is formed by a great central arch with towers on either side, which in 1861 were opened by two pointed arches. Like every other Milanese gate, Porta Ticinese has been eyewitness to history; after having been assigned to Pavia by Barbarossa in 1162, the gate was scene of the murky events and sly plotting of the Visconti family.
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.
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.
In the populous quarter around Porta Ticinese are the most important remains of Mediolanum, capital of the Roman Empire of the West.
The juxstaposition of the Roman columns next to the Early Christian basilica creates a truly stirring sight. The sixteen fluted marle columns with Corinthian capitals definitely belonged to a Roman building of the late Imperial period (2nd or 3rd century B.C), either baths, a temple or a palace.
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