The Duomo Milan Museum - 600 Years of History!
Why Visit Duomo Milan Museum?
Plan Your Visit to the Duomo Milan Museum
What to See Inside the Duomo Milan Museum?
The Museum is divided into 14 thematic areas across 26 rooms on the ground floor of the opulent Palazzo Reale. The exhibitions are arranged in chronological order. This ensures that visitors begin their journey exploring artworks, sculptures, and artifacts from 1386 onwards as move along the historical timeline of the Duomo's construction up to the 20th century.
The Treasury of Museum
The first two rooms of the museum house the Treasury of Milan Duomo which contain artifacts that were originally stored in the sacristies of the Duomo Milan Cathedral. There are liturgical objects including vestments and manuscripts that were used in the period between the 5th and 17th centuries. A prominent artifact here is the Diptych of the Five Parts which is two intricately carved tablets of ivory that were meant to be a gospel book cover.
Among other processional crosses, you will find the Chiaravalle Cross, a large gold cross possessing Romanesque qualities that were used in processions. It is ornate with golden embellishments on the sides, while the inner frame is comprised of an amber red. This cross also has historical significance, once carried by Archbishop Ottone Visconti during the battle of Desio in 1277 which established the sovereignty of the Visconti family in Milan.
Artifacts and Artworks
In a long display cabinet, you will find several chalices and patens that were used during the liturgical services at different points in the history of the church. You will also find beautifully designed monstrances with transparent containers that were used to keep the blessed host after the celebration of the Eucharist. Enthroned Madonna with Child and the Presentation of the Child in the Temple are elaborate altarpieces that are worth viewing. Other noteworthy paintings include The Hummingbird Mitre and the Madonna dell'Idea.
The Gonzaga Tapestries
A series of precious tapestries were donated to the Veneranda Fabbrica in 1569 by Saint Charles Borromeo (an important patron in the construction of the church). There are elaborate depictions featured in the tapestries with stunning details and the use of color that are interwoven with wool, silk, silver, and even gold. The Stories of Moses series is the most renowned collection that captures various scenes from the biblical story of Moses. Other noted works include the Cherub's Games.
The Wooden Model
Known as the Modellone, this wooden model is the oldest and largest architectural scale model of the Duomo Milan Cathedral. Crafted by Bernardino Zenale in 1519, it is produced at a scale of 1:22 and has been worked on for over three centuries, acting as a draft design of the cathedral. Made from lime wood, walnut, and pine, the structure is intricately carved and embodies many aspects of the outer cathedral including its fine pinnacles, spires, flying buttresses, and embellishments.
The History of the Duomo Milan Museum In a Nutshell
In the second last decade of the 19th century, discussions on having a dedicated museum to preserve the rich history of the Duomo Milan and centuries of arduous work took place. Nine rooms of the oldest wing of the Palazzo Reale on the ground floor were secured by the Veneranda Fabbrica from the State Property Office to house the cathedral's valued artifacts and exhibit them. The museum of inaugurated in 1953, with an installation by Ugo Nebbia. The collection of the Museum had grown following the increase of damaged artifacts during the bombings of World War 2 and from the transference of artworks from the storage of the Veneranda Fabbrica and the sacristies of the Cathedral. In the 1960s, ten more rooms were allocated by the Municipality of Milan for use by the Museum. After extensive renovations and expansion under architect Guido Canali, it was reopened to the public on November 4, 2013.
All Your Questions About Duomo Milan Museum Answered
Yes, tickets for the Duomo Milan Museum can be purchased online separately.
The Museum is open to the public every day, except Wednesday from 10 AM to 7 PM.
Duomo Milan Museum is a museum inside the Milan Cathedral complex that houses historic artifacts and artworks related to the Duomo Milan Cathedral.
The museum is located on the ground floor of the Palazzo Reale of Milan in Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy.
The museum was built to preserve and showcase the history and art associated with Duomo Milan Cathedral which took centuries to build.
There is no specific dress code, but visitors are expected to dress modestly and appropriately.
The museum is located in the city center at the Piazza del Duomo and can be reached by public transport, car, or by walking.
The museum houses numerous artworks, statues, liturgical objects, tapestries, and historic artifacts associated with the Duomo Milan.
Yes, visitors can enter the Duomo Milan Museum, but they need to purchase a ticket beforehand.