// Attraction

01.06.2015 ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET!



Today you will learn about another almost secret sightseeing attraction of Milan that is seldom mentioned in tourist guides and even not all Milanese know about it to say nothing about its secrets. Nevertheless it is situated in the heart of Milan and you can visit it absolutely free of charge, so what is this secret sightseeing attraction?

The question is a small church, Santa Maria presso San Satiro, situated at the address: Via Torino 17-19,

ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET

just a stone’s throw away from Duomo Square. You just need to turn to a side street behind the flower stall and you will see in front of you one of the most fascinating churches in the world. So what’s so special about Santa Maria presso San Satiro? The history started with a chapel (in 879) and the church construction dates from 1476-1478 as per the design by the great Italian architect and artist of the Renaissance are, Donato Bramante  – Leonardo da Vinci’s contemporary with who they worked together on ornamenting Castello Sforzesco Castle.  So the plain fact that the church was erected by the genial architect, Donato Bramante himself, is notable, but after entering (by the way the church from outside looks small and unremarkable) we will understand the reason for Donato Bramante being genial.

So we are inside and stopped to admire frescos,

ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET

we look up, admire the decorated dome

ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET

and arrest the eye on the apse (alter).

ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET

Don’t you notice anything? Look at the columns stretching into the alter. For how much do they stretch inside? It seems about 10 m, doesn’t it? And now come closer from the left and the right, and look at the apse from the side. I hope the video will give a better idea:

The apse depth with the four columns is only 97 cm! This is just a masterpiece of optic illusion – false apse visually wide and spacious, but in reality it is almost flat!

ANOTHER MILANCE SIGHTSEEING ATTRACTION FOR FREE – WITH A SECRET

The point is during the church construction Bramante couldn’t obtain the permit to demolish the building (according to the legend the building was a brothel bring in a fair return to the Milanese governors) to be replaced with a real spacious apse of the church. But could the trifles like this disturb the genial architect? That is how Donato Bramante created the false apse which optical effect has been ravishing us for the last almost 600 years!

What you can do on your own: of course, pray to Madonna, Mother of God, patroness of Milan. The Italians hold Madonna, Mother of Jesus Christ, sacred and most churches (including Duomo Cathedral ) devote their prayers exactly to her. So you shouldn’t leave without praying and donating, then Milanese Madonna will become your patroness too!

Have a nice journey!


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