Sant'Ambrogio Basilisk

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Milan, Italy

Sant'Ambrogio Basilisk Milan Reviews

stef7sa stef7sa
8 reviews
A treasury of medieval art Nov 05, 2011
From the number of pictures (over 30) added to this entry you may already derive the importance of the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio.

Though not explicitly mentioned as such by all travel guides, this church is about the most interesting one to visit in Milan.

The basilisk was originally consecrated by St Ambrose (387), but is for a large part a rebuild of the 11th century, though parts of the 4th century have remained.

Just a few of the highlights, making this a must see experience:

the Romanesque facade with the atrium

decorated with 6th-century capitals

bell towers of the 9th and 12th century respectively

9th-century golden and silver altar by Volvinius, with a 10th-century tabernacle

carved wooden choir with polychrome carvings of scenes of St.Ambrose's life

the "Serpent Column": a bronze serpent on a column, kept here since 1002

4th-century Sarcophagus of Stilichone with a marble pulpit

the Sacello di San Vittore, with mosaics of glittering gold from the 5th century, including a portrait of St. Ambrose

apse mosaic of Byzantine layout from the early 1200s

A peculiarity is the presence of the skeleton of St. Ambrose in the crypt, accompanied by St. Gervasius and St. Protasius.

Do not forget to visit the Tesoro (entrance in the Portico della Canonica left of the church), as it houses many treasures indeed.

Next to the Basilica there is a museum with relics and artifacts of the history of the church (small fee). Also close to the basilica is the former cloister, designed by Bramante, now Catholic University.

Reasonably accessible to the disabled (a few steps).

Source: Milan City Guide for smartphone
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