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5 fun facts about the statues on the Duomo Cathedral

The Milan Cathedral or the Duomo as the Milanese people call it is the main landmark of the city. It is the fitfh largest church in the world and it sits right in the city centre of the capital of fashion and design. Widely considered as a marvellous example of gothic architecture its completion took more than 400 years. The construction is not actually ended though. The Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, in charge of the cathedral’s maintenance, works tirelessly to preserve its splendor.

The whitish/pinkish of its facade depends on the particular marbles used for the construction. It is the so called marble of Candoglia which is extracted in the Candoglia quarries in Val d’Ossola. The marbles were also used for the construction of the 135 spires that point to the sky. On the top of the highest spire sits the statue of the Madonnina. The statue represents the Holy Virgin, it’s 416 cm tall and it is entirely made of gilt copper. But what about the other statues?

The statues on the Duomo Cathedral: from the King to the Pope

The Milan cathedral holds an impressive record. It is the building that features the highest number of statues and gargoyles in the whole world. The Duomo is adorned with more than 3400 statues representing various subject. Saints, royals, poets and politicians are all well represented in and around the church.

The statue of Dante Alighieri

Dante Alighieri is the most important poet of all times. He is considered the father of the Italian language; his fame is due to the authorship of the Comedìa, which has become famous as the Divine Comedy and universally considered the greatest work written in Italian and one of the greatest masterpieces of world literature.

His statue on the Milan’s cathedral is actually the representation of his head.

The boxing team

On the Central Terrace you will come across the figures of eight boxers, made around 1930, which celebrate a legend of 20th century Italian boxing: Primo Carnera. Carnera was heavyweight champion of the world and is known to the general public as a man of considerable stature and exceptional physical strength. Idol of the crowd, appreciated as an athlete and as a man, he was considered one of the Italian heroes of those years and for this reason he was depicted on the monument’s falconry.

Mussolini, the King and the Pope

No this is not the beginning of a joke…These three key figures of Italian history are all depicted on the walls of the Milan’s cathedral in the exact same spot. They are one next to the other to celberate the signing of the Lateran Pacts. The Pacts were the final agreement on the relationships between fascist Italy and the Catholic Church and were sealed in 1929.

The statue of Arturo Toscanini on the Duomo Cathedral

The Maestro had its most important spot in both the La Scala Opera house and the New York Opera. He was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, acquiring international fame also thanks to radio and television broadcasts and numerous recordings as music director of the NBC Symphony Orchestra

Here we see him having a reserved spot on the walls of the Duomo Cathedral.

The tennis racket

Among the many people represented on the Duomo there are also some unconventional statues. Like the ones here below: a tennis racket and a boxing glove.

These are just some examples of the statues on the Duomo Cathedral. Among the 3500 astonishing artworks there are of course the representations of the many saints celebrated by the Catholic Church. There are also dragons, lizards, pigeons, lions and believe it or not an exact copy of the Statue of Liberty. Read at this link its original story.

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